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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)

TITLE: The Gift
By Mike Sandlin


The Gift

As Matt walked into the mall the week before Thanksgiving he was surprised to see the Christmas decorations adorning all areas of the mall as if they have been up for weeks. The last few years he had been concern with the commercialization of Christmas. How we seem to have lost the true meaning. It seems no one really cares that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus; it is just another reason to have sales and encourage shopping in the name of commerce.
He had gone to the mall to by a present for his wife. He knew what he wanted and he knew which store he was going to, Jobeth’s Jewelry. He had seen a beautiful diamond bangle bracelet a few weeks earlier and knew right away he wanted to get this for his wife. He had never spent so much for her at one time but this time was different, she deserves it. She had given so much over the last year as he had fought cancer and other health complications. She had sacrificially given herself to his care and comfort during this time.
But he was displeased with the Christmas atmosphere before Thanksgiving Day was even celebrated. He almost turned around to walk out.
As he walked into the jewelry store Jobeth immediately saw him. She made a point to personally help him as he was one of her regular customers.
“Hi Matt,” said Jobeth as she approached him with her best smile.
“Hey Jobeth,” Mike said. “What’s with the Christmas decorations?”
“We’re getting ready for Christmas,” she said looking around the store while Matt said, “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.
“But it’s only 46 days to Christmas,” she said as she motioned to a board that advertised the number of days to Christmas, obviously designed to count the days down.
Matt just looked at her not knowing what to say. He was stumped. It appears that Jobeth has become a part of the movement to devalue Christmas to another day just to make a profit.
After Matt finished buying the bracelet he sat in one of those chairs in the large hallway of the mall. You know those chairs, the ones that are place sparsely throughout the mall designed for you to rest for a few minutes before you continue shopping but not comfortable for you to relax.
He just sat there watching the people hassling to and fro from store to store. Some of them talking and laughing with each other as they moved about, others obviously there by themselves. He was wondering if they even have a clue what the Christmas season is really all about. Do they know Christmas should be a time of celebration? Do they not know that giving presents is symbol of the gift God gave from his heart? His most precious procession – a personal sacrifice for our own lives. Do they even care?
As he sat there he realized he too had become part of the commercialization of Christmas. So what he bought an expensive present for his wife. What kind of sacrifice is that? When it comes down to it, she will be paying for it also since he was using the family finances.
She sacrificed much while he was sick. He needs to show his love by doing something that will be a sacrifice for him. But what could he do. What can he sacrifice to show his love? What can it be? And then it hit him. That’s what I can do. That’s what I will do.
And he begun to plan his gift as he got up and walked back into Jobeth’s to return the bracelet.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Micheline Murray12/12/08
I think we all need to think about our giving as a sacrifice of ourselves. I do that throughout the year, but not so much at Christmas. Thank you for the reminder. Also, you may want to put spacing between paragraphs so it's a little easier on the eyes--at least for us old folks!