Christmas isn’t all about gifts but, in our culture, few escape gift giving. While I write lists and shop throughout the year, more talented individuals make what they give. They say it’s a way of giving themselves. I admire those who sew, paint, sculpt, photograph . . . their gifts, but I’m not among them. My hands tend to get in the way. However, among my most memorable gifts are ones that were handmade for me.
While learning ceramics, my daughter Christa fired a large oval platter in my favorite turquoise. On it she painted a mama and papa duck and ducklings trailing behind with grandchildren’s names around the border. It sits on top of my kitchen cabinets. She also compiled treasured family photo albums.
My daughter-in-love Lynn is a professional artist. When she dabbled in stained glass, she made a Celtic cross to add to my collection. It hangs where the light plays off its aqua tones. Currently she paints-to-order scenes with Scripture verses surrounding them. Every day I walk by the painting of a large Celtic cross—her gift to me several Christmases ago. When asked what verse should surround the painted cross, I chose phrases from a favorite Keith Getty-Stuart Townend song, “The Power of the Cross”: “What a love! What a cost! We stand forgiven at the cross.”
Not only does the painting remind me of a loving relationship with my son’s wife, it also speaks of the greatest gift I ever received. Paul wrote that both the Father and Son were involved in this gift giving: “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19–20 NKJV).
Jesus handmade His gift of peace for me; He gave Himself in procuring it. I have peace with God because He settled my sin debt. And I have the peace of God which the world can neither comprehend nor diminish. In times like these, it’s the best gift ever.
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