Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Homes for the Holidays

Winter frost often brings wandering travelers back home for the holidays. There is something unique when family comes together during Christmas time. As you gather at the family table this year, maybe you are celebrating the arrival of a new baby or the loss of loved ones. These winds of change can bring tears of joy or tears of sadness. And yet all families share this in common, that time spent with relatives can often bring out the best in us or the worst in us. One thing is true: family is forever! So how do you please this busy bunch for the holidays? What gifts can you give to your family that they can cherish for a lifetime?

As you scramble to find the perfect presents for the people you love, let me suggest four precious gifts to give your family during this holiday season:

#1 The Gift of Listening- Don’t be the first to share your opinion or solve life’s problems, but how about this year giving the gift of listening? We have two ears and one mouth, and yet we talk a lot more than we listen. Don’t you feel valued when God listens to you? Listening is much more detailed then hearing. It takes focus and understanding. As we effectively listen, we can effectively pray. As my 8-year-old Trinity told me, “Mom, we learn so much from listening.”

#2 The Gift of Life- Proverbs says, we have a choice to poison people with the words that come from our mouths or we have an opportunity to give life (Proverbs18:21). It’s easy to be critical, factual, and judgmental because we live in a negative, fallen world. Speaking words of life, making hope tangible is a priceless gift. Selecting to speak God’s choice words will be a life-giving gift to those who sit in our living rooms. We all need a little encouragement through our winter season. Become a life support! You maybe someone’s only hope to survive his or her greatest storm.

#3 The Gift of Love- Let me tell you what to give folks that are opinionated, offended, wounded, and even difficult at times; this gift never fails. It happens to be the greatest gift of all! It accepts the unlovely, it embraces the abrasive, and most of all it makes a seat at the table for the hungry. Love creates an atmosphere that covers shame, releases debts, and forgives wrong. Remember when Christ gave us this perfect gift? It is a costly present but it will be appreciated from the youngest to the oldest.

#4 The Gift of Laughter- Having fun with your family has to be a part of our plan. Try not to major on your differences, remember that you will have each other for years to come. Create new family traditions, share clean jokes, play games, laugh out loud, and make special memories. Laughing is contagious and I found out, you have to learn to laugh. It doesn’t even have to start out funny but by the end you will be picking your self up, off the floor and wiping your eyes because you just can’t stop laughing. Laughter is a good medicine (proverbs 17:22 ). This is a gift we all desperately need to unwrap especially during the holidays.

As you remember the song, Bing Crosby made popular, “I’ll be home for Christmas” it is my prayer that your homes are filled with great comfort and joy. From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Your Sister and Friend,

Eileen Hunter

1 comment:

  1. So well said, Eileen! Our prayers are with you and your precious little ones during this Christmas season. Sheri Hawley, Winter Haven, FL