We’re in the homestretch of buying Christmas presents, and things are busy. With six kids, it’s a challenge to get what they want as we try to stay within a reasonable budget and try to keep things fairly even.
We’re ordering presents whenever we get a few minutes, whether that is at night when the kids are in bed or if we have some time alone in the car. Side note: what did people do before online shopping? (This is a rhetorical question.)
This year, there’s not one major present that is going to blow their doors off (we already got a dog this year), but I think they’ll be happy. You want to avoid the disappointed kid face, where they’re trying to be brave, but they didn’t get that thing they really wanted, or something isn’t quite right or they’re just underwhelmed. And yes, I know presents are not what it’s all about and we do other things for our kids too, but I also want to give them a few moments of fun and delight.
And yet – at some level, every gift we give disappoints.
Toys will break, the fascinating new device will lose its appeal after a few days or weeks or months, the subscription won’t be renewed, the food will be eaten, the strategies for the game will run out, the batteries will die, the newness will wear off, the excitement will fade.
No material thing we give our kids will ever fully satisfy their longing hearts. They were made for more, and the only thing – the only person – who can give them what they need is Jesus. He is the well that never runs dry, the fountain that will never be quenched, the bread that always satisfies, the life that never ends.
When the excitement of Christmas morning fades and your kids are surrounded by piles of crumpled wrapping paper, they will find their true joy not in their earthly presents, but above, in the Giver of all good gifts.