A Reaching-Out Gift by Kenneth C. Kroohs

Kenneth Kroohs
Isaiah 9:2-4 & 6-7; Psalm 94:1-4 & 11-12: Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-20
December 24, 1999

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Or .. if you are like me ... thank God it is finally here! For many people, especially many woman, the relief won't be felt until after dinner tomorrow ... but the end is in sight!

One of my cynical friends wrote recently that the true test of who is an adult at Christmas time is a person who takes pleasure neither in giving NOR receiving ... but in simply having it over with!

I suspect my cynical friend hits the nail on the head for too many of us. We rush about trying to buy presents .. the many kinds of presents. The obligatory presents: The neighbor we never speak to except for 90 seconds as we deliver the bread this time each year. The co-workers who we would rather not speak to!

There are of course, also the carefully considered, deeply loving gifts. Those we work hard on to give to the people who are most special in our lives. And women .. let me tell you a secret .. just because the sales receipt from the man in your life says 4:30 PM December 24th does NOT mean he waited to begin thinking about you! No, the real reason is that he has been struggling for weeks -- months to find the perfect gift and did not want to settle for the lesser gift. So he kept diligently looking until the very last second to find just the absolutely special gift for you. So be happy he waited!!! (Think what he would have bought three weeks ago!)

And the Christmas cards. Especially the cards sent and received with a sense of sorrow. Every year I receive and send cards to people with the wish that I had spent time with those people during the last year. The "let's stay in closer touch" cards. Good, wonderful, joyful, fun people who I never seem to connect with except at Christmas. People who I know would make my life better ... happier ... but somehow the priorities get mixed up. So every year I ...

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