Last night, I helped a friend of mine wrap what seemed like a hundred presents for his kids. He has a family tradition of wrapping each child’s gifts with the same wrapping paper, so that there’s no need for tags or confusion as to who gets what. What a smart idea, especially if there’s lots of kids around.
Anyway, I also took time to wrap the gifts I’m giving out as well. I usually dread the wrapping exercise, probably because I’m not too good at it, but last night, I had a great time. In fact, it brought a lot of joy to my heart.
I think this was especially true because, in my mind’s eye, I could see each person unwrapping the present, and the happiness that getting the gift gave to them. Isn’t that a big part of what Christmas is about?
This morning, I have the chance to experience a different gift. I’m going with a friend to meet up with an elderly priest who mentored us both in our younger days. Fr. Vincent lives in an Assisted Living Facility now, and I’m sorry to say that several years have gone by since I last saw him. This was not intentional, but, you know how it goes. We get caught up in the daily grind, and we often forget the people from our past, whether they are among the living or have passed on.
Several weeks ago, I was having a conversation with my friend, and he asked how long it had been since I last spoke with Fr. Vincent. Sadly, I told him I couldn’t even remember. He said it was the same for him. As I drove home, I resolved to send Fr. Vincent a Christmas card, giving him my phone number in case he wanted to chat. He’s not especially well, and I wasn’t sure if he was in a place to call.
The day he received the card, I received a call. I can’t begin to tell you the joy that was on my heart as I heard him say hello, this is Vincent, spoken in that Kentucky drawl that is a reminder of his roots. We had a nice talk that day, and then set up a day and time to meet before Christmas. Today is that day, and my friend and I are going to spend the morning with our old friend and mentor. I really mean it when I say I can’t wait. 🙂
So, as you get yourself ready for Christmas, keep thinking about JOY! The joy that will be on the hearts of the people you will meet the next few days. How can you make their joy more complete?
Christmas shouldn’t be filled with drudgery. Yes, even the task of wrapping gifts can bring a joy to your heart, if you let it. I hope you’ll give it a try 🙂