“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! ” Luke 12:23-24

As I write this it is two days after Christmas, our first gift-less December 25th ever.  Good thing it was by choice.

One of our sons became engaged, and he and his fiancée were invited to spend Christmas with her folks far from where we live. We blessed them to go. But we’re a tight family, so we decided to put celebrating Christmas on hold until everyone could be back together, in January.

Of course we had a few classic markers to tell us it was Christmas Day. We consumed our favorite sticky buns, sat by our fire, enjoyed conversation with one son who slept over Christmas Eve, and played a favorite board game. 

In the end that’s all we needed: food, fire, and family, gifts that met our longing for nourishment, protection, and community. We didn’t open any packages, not a one.

The day was reminiscent of the Bethlehem manger affair. Simple and plain, yet bursting with warmth, kin, and care.

January can be an emotionally difficult month after the hubbub of Christmas. It’s still dark, cold, and the credit card bills come due. For me it’s a good time reflect on the gifts God gives us which I often take for granted—fellowship with one another, a roof over my head, and food that meets my hunger.

Do we recognize these simple things as given by God? Do we think we need more than a place to stay, provisions, and human connection?  These are gifts from heaven.

Dear God, thank you for your caring love that meets my basic human needs. I am blessed by family, food, and home. Amen.

Take Action

Read Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and challenge yourself to be thankful in the middle of the mundane.

Tags: family