Giving and receiving gifts can be a Christmas day highlight. I remember when I was younger, this was probably the thing I looked forward to the most. I enjoyed the element of surprise, unwrapping something new that would belong to me. Even if it wasn’t exactly what I asked for, I would be grateful for that new thing!
Unfortunately this grateful attitude did not really continue as I got older. I know that I have sometimes been outwardly skeptical of the gifts I received, thinking “why on earth did you think I would like this?!” and this thought being written all over my face. I know this is awful and I now try to be more grateful for the gifts I receive and appreciate the thought that has gone into them.
I am also grateful that I now have the privilege of giving my own gifts which gives me the chance to (hopefully) bring joy to others. I think this is now one of my highlights – being able to surprise my family and friends with something new to enjoy.
However, as I continue to experience more and more Christmases throughout my life, I am becoming more and more aware that Christmas is not necessarily a joyous time for all. In fact I know that for many it is one of the most stressful, sad or disappointing times of the year. For some it is more doom and gloom rather than joy and laughter.
If Christmas is not usually merry for you, try to take on an attitude of gratitude and see what you can be thankful for even if it’s small. Let’s try to take joy in the blessings we do have. Also try to focus on how you might be able to bring joy to those around you.
If you don’t get what you want this Christmas remember that there are many in the world who don’t even have the privilege to think about this question. And above all, try to think about the reason for the celebration- Jesus Christ, who is really the greatest gift for all.