The Giver

This week Tracy at Thirsty For Him is hosting At the Well and she asked some great questions that I've been chewing over.

Having a "Mary" Christmas:
Keeping "Christ" in Christmas with Practical Ideas

Do you find yourself stressed each Christmas, trying to "DO" all of the activities of the holiday, only finding yourself depleted and wondering if your family celebrated the true meaning of Christmas?

What are practical tips and ideas you can share that celebrate Christ and simplifies Christmas?

While I was thinking about this, I shared some prayer requests with some friends and their responses are precious. Not only do I know they're praying for me, they helped steer me back onto the right path. It made me remember this article I read many months ago and I knew it was what I needed to post for The Well today, even though it's late in the day.

The Gift or the Giver? By Teresa Altman

"You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3 (NKJV)

My friend loves his children so much you can almost see it bubble from his pores. For many years, that same love was reciprocated. I remember him proudly boasting that when he arrived home from work each day his children nearly tackled him at the door, covering him with hugs and kisses. What a wonderful feeling to receive someone's love that is so openly exuberant.

One day, he wanted to surprise his children with a gift to express his heartfelt devotion to their love. Not just any gift, it had to be a special one. They were so surprised the day he brought home a big screen television and he thoroughly enjoyed their excitement.

Soon afterwards, he recognized a change in their behavior. They no longer greeted him at the door but instead, were perched in front of the television. When he called out to let them know he was home, the only response he ever received was a muffled "Hi Dad". He also began noticing that chores and homework were being neglected. He quickly grew angry and regretted his decision.

The object of his children's love had become the gift rather than the giver. When he could tolerate it no more he marched into the room, stood in front of the television and demanded his children's attention. Rules were then set and their relationship changed.

Sadly, the same is often true in a Christian's personal relationship with God. We become so distracted and involved with gifts that we fail to recognize and honor the giver. Do you hurry to greet your heavenly Father with gratitude and love? Or like many Christians today, do you fail to pause each morning to thank Him for life and rush through your day without even a thought to honor Him?

Like my friend, God is angered when we revere His gifts above Him. Wherever we spend our time and devotion will ultimately become our god. It's easy to be distracted by the bustle of life and overlook everything He has done for us. But we must remember that He is the giver of life and worthy of our praise and devotion. Please join me in making the conscious decision to turn our eyes back on the Father and give Him the first fruits of thanksgiving each morning and praise for every gift. Then, we will once again experience the bubbling love of a Father that adores His children.

Teresa Altman, an engineer for 25 years, answered God's call to write in 2007. A mother of two and grandmother of six, she lives in Northwest Tennessee.

@2007 by Teresa Altman


Too often we get so caught up in all that God has given us that we forget WHO gave it all to us. In all of our enjoyment of the season, and yes, we need to truly enjoy it, let's remember to focus on the Giver--our great God and Redeemer.


  1. Amen! It is so easy to get caught up in the activity of the season that we forget why we are celebrating in the first place. Thank you for the reminder that our total devotion should be to the King of Kings and to Him alone.

    I hope you have a great week!

  2. What a great illustration! Wow! Thanks for sharing it with us, Peej!

  3. Thank you for sharing that with us. It is so true that the meaning behind the gift can get so lost so easily. I am seeking to have an attitude of worship this Christmas and I believe by doing that I will be able to recognize the love and sacrificie that goes along with the gift. -Blessings, Laurie

  4. That is an excellent illustration.

    We could sure use prayer about that at our house...

  5. Oh, SO excellent analogy! I'm glad you spotted this, and gave it the "spotlight" it deserves. Needed this!


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