Christmas is a wonderful time of year, isn’t it? All those gifts sat wrapped under the tree awaiting distribution to the receiver; the eager anticipation of what gifts we will get in return. Hmmmmmm, or maybe it’s a stress trying to get all those gifts bought and trying to make the budget stretch to cover the cost. Maybe you are lost in a sea of wrapping paper and gift tags willing the whole thing to be over. Since having my daughter, I have been forced to take a step back and really evaluate my life, the things I do and why I do them. Christmas has probably seen the biggest revolution so far for us. But gift giving, this is an area where I’ve felt most challenged and an area that’s caused me to face up to the selfish person I like to pretend doesn’t cohabit this body. I’ve always given gifts, but the thing is, I have always given gifts to those who are going to be giving to me in return. Selfish or what?! Or there’s that other gift giving sin I am guilty of, buying a gift in a price range that I think the other person will also pick mine from. What is the point?! We both may as well just keep our money in our bank accounts and spend it on ourselves. I am not writing this to say gift giving is bad, far from it!! But, as we set our hearts and minds towards advent, and we started thinking about what we really wanted to teach our daughter from this blessed time of year, we built in something we have never done before………….giving a gift to someone who isn’t going to give us one in return. Gasp!!! It’s never happened before, but it’s going to be one of our advent traditions. It’s not a big thing we’re giving. In fact, we’ve started of pretty small; the gift is homemade cookies, but the point is not the gift itself, it is in the selfless giving. We are giving these treats to our neighbours, who we barely know. I have made the cookies with no expectations in return, just for the sheer joy of giving something freely and out of love. Where does this stem from? Well, from both of us looking back at our childhood and seeing how selfish we were. Christmas is about Jesus’ birthday and yet, we thought the day was all about us and those heaps of presents coming our way. But we want to teach our daughter, that, yes, it is GREAT to receive, but it is BETTER to give, and in giving to those who are not obliged in any way to return the favour we are sharing a little bit of Jesus with them and also giving a gift to Him as well. It’s his birthday, afterall, and after coming to earth and giving us the ultimate gift salvation and life eternal asking nothing in return, a plateful of cookies to strangers sharing the same street really is the least we can do. What about you? Do you give to people just for the sake of giving and not expecting in return? Is this something your family has been doing for a while, maybe? Let me know, and share your inspiration for great gifts to touch hearts at Christmas and throughout the year. I can’t wait to distribute my gifts this evening when people get home; my gift in return will be the smile on their face. That alone is gift enough.