I receive hundreds of gifts every day. Most of them remain unopened. On Christmas Day I am not so ignorant. A physical package placed before me is much harder to miss. As it is, these gifts don't come wrapped up in boxes, with shiny ribbons. They are intangible, but more real than most people realize.
My observational skills were a bit more awake than usual today. This morning I counted several.
1) The warmth of my toddler pressed up against my back as I woke. She had another nightmare last night and came to sleep in my room. She shifts against me like a kitten and I dare not move lest she awaken and the moment pass.
2) The ability to imagine. This gift was passed on to me by my parents, wise as they are. I was able to lay in bed and conjure up pictures I can only hope to transcribe someday. For now they are mine to do with as I please.
3) My husband's arm wrapped around my waist, his lips pressed gently against my hair. I know too many with broken homes. I dare not take this gift for granted.
4) The technology provided to me allowing me to touch others with my writing. If I were to use pen and paper I doubt anyone would ever see this list or share this thought.
5) Cool peppermint leaves immersed in my cup of water. It's hard enough for me to keep plants alive in my yard. For some mint is a weed, for me it's a spark of hope that perhaps I'm not completely void of gardening skills.
The longer I think, and the more I open my mind the more gifts I realize are at my fingertips. Air to breathe and air conditioning to cool it. The roof over my head, and all the objects that fit under it. My children, their personalities challenging me to always be more than I thought I could be.
Ann Voskamp, the author of "One Thousand Gifts" said this, "I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.” Her insight is itself another gift to be opened. I read her book over a year ago. I forget so quickly.
I will start again. I will observe. I will let no gift remain unopened. I will unwrap each one as it is given to me, savoring the contents, keeping them forever in my heart.
Luke 11:13 - "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him."