(This is a devotional I shared at our church’s annual Ladies Christmas Brunch.)

I used to go all out in gift wrapping.  I took my time with each and every gift – making my own fancy bows, picking out just the right paper, and making sure the wrapping paper had nice crisp edges.  But it got tiresome and nobody in my family really noticed my efforts.  They just ripped the paper open.

Have you ever been challenged with a gift that doesn’t wrap so easily? You know, the gifts that don’t come with a box, and they don’t fit into any box. I have three boys, and we had plenty of those gifts in my house: fish tanks, fire trucks, baseball bats and baseball gloves, skate boards and basketballs, light sabers and so on. Some gifts will never fit into a box.

My boys used to play the guessing game on what was wrapped for them under the tree.  They would picking up each gift and shake it.  As their mom I just wanted to keep the presents I bought for them a surprise until Christmas Day. I didn’t want them guessing. So I had to disguise the more elaborate gifts to keep it a mystery until they opened it.

What is interesting is that when my sons got old enough to buy their own gifts and wrap them … they really got creative.  I guess they knew what big snoops they were themselves.  And just like extreme sports, for them it was “extreme gift wrapping.”  They would use so much wrapping paper.  They would pad their gifts with socks, towels or toilet paper rolls – anything to throw you off.  And they would create shapes.  One of my sons created a dinosaur shape around his gift, even though the gift was not a dinosaur.  I don’t even remember what the gift actually was, but I remember the dinosaur!

One Christmas our son, Sam, bought three gifts for his Dad, and he shaped a letter around each of the three presents to spell out the word “DAD.”   It was so funny.  I don’t remember what those gifts were either, but I remember how they were wrapped.

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These extremely-wrapped gifts were a lot of fun to unwrap, because there were so many layers to get through just to get to the gift. But things are much simpler now, and I am grateful for e-cards and gift cards and, and I love gift bags for wrapping. So much easier!

Well, just as our family did extreme gift wrapping for each other, God also gave us a gift that was masterfully and cleverly and extremely well-wrapped.  (more…)