When our sons were growing up, we practiced the tradition of lighting a candle on our advent wreath on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. On the fourth Sunday we discussed the wise men and the gifts they brought to the Christ Child. We asked our boys, “What birthday gift are you bringing to Jesus this year?” The boys grew into men. Although the tradition had long been abandoned in our empty nest, I continued the practice of giving my Savior a birthday gift every year.
The year our grandson, Isaac, was three and a half, I was unable to choose a birthday present for Jesus. Nothing seemed quite right or appropriate. While visiting grandma and papa, Isaac discovered a toy catalog that had come in the mail for me. He took the catalog and sat down on the living room floor, wistfully turning pages while I worked in the kitchen. Suddenly he stood up and ran to me. Pointing to a toy, he excitedly said, “Look, Grandma. This is what I want for Christmas.” Sighing, not wanting to disappoint, I replied, “Oh, Honey, Papa and I already bought your Christmas present, but I will keep this in mind for next Christmas” Satisfied with my answer, he returned to the living room and to looking at more pictures on the pages. Standing in the kitchen, I had this thought: Maybe I should just ask Jesus what He would like this Christmas. Like Isaac, I can count on Him to be honest and authentic. He will tell me.
“Lord Jesus, it is your birthday again. What would you like me to give you this year?”