Across Pacific Magazine

One present
that doesn't have to be wrapped

The Gift of Love

If I decorate my house perfectly with fancy bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

tree and giftsIf I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas goodies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook. If I work at a soup kitchen, sing carols in the rest-home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the tree with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point. Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy an other's home that has Christmas china and table linens, a nicer car or a fancy yacht.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love hears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, conflicting schedules or bad weather will mess with the best of plans. But giving the gift of love will endure.

- with apologies to St. Paul (1st Corinthians 13)

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