All wrapped up
This Christmas season I’ve spent many hours doing something that seems to have fallen out of favor and fashion these days: wrapping gifts. You know…where you buy a roll of printed paper and wrassle with it, attempting to cut a straight line while the paper tries to roll up on you. And then you try to hold the ends together against the box and tear off a piece of tape at the same time, which usually results in at least one sticky tape ball during the process, as well as a reenactment of the furnace-fixing scene from A Christmas Story.
In the big picture, I can understand why most of us have resorted to gift bags. They’re easy to use, they’re fast to put together, and they’re recyclable. Getting a cool gift bag this year means giving a cool gift bag next year.
Don’t even act like you don’t do that.
For a few years I followed the bag trend pretty heavily myself, and I still use them plenty. But I’ve only used one so far this Christmas, and it was an item just too awkward to wrap. Plus I was really tired and that furnace scene from A Christmas Story was getting close to bubbling to the surface.
So why would I bother at all? Why not just use my stash of pretty bags?
Because last year I realized that there is something special about a wrapped box of potential, something that just doesn’t seem to be quite the same with a gift bag. And part of it may be that I like things to reflect a measure of care and creativity. I want the recipient of the gift to feel my regard for them simply because I took the time to make the gift look special. Even if the “special” is going to end up in the trash can in about thirty seconds.
I believe it does every heart good to know that it’s worth an offering of beauty.
How odd it must have been on that first Christmas, all those years ago, for heaven’s best offering to come to us tiny and red-faced and crying in a stable full of work animals, wrapped in the simplicity of swaddling clothes.
The angels must have thought it the strangest thing ever that the King of Eternity would present Himself with in such a degrading manner. Where were His robes? Where was His crown?
And yet this gift was, and is, all the more beautiful because He laid aside the finery of heaven and instead wrapped Himself in the flesh of broken humanity. No bows or ribbons necessary.
My mind cannot comprehend this, but my heart is glad for it.