This is the first week of Advent. Traditionally this is the four weeks before the birth. It is a time of waiting. We are waiting for a Christmas gift.
I remember when my children were little and the cabbage patch kids were all the rage. I did something crazy that year. Three weeks before Christmas I joined dozens and dozens of other mothers to line up in front of the Woolco. Do you remember Woolco? It was THE store before the WalMart came onto the scene. Anyway, there I was among all these strangers and in a panic. It was just announced that they had received some more cabbage patch dolls. For months we’d all been trying to buy one for our children and the stores kept running out of stock. Now was my chance! The girls just HAD to have one.
It was exhausting! But rewarding. I not only got one cabbage patch, I was able to pick up one for each of my girls. WOW. That was going to be one great Chrsitmas morning. I could hardly wait to see the look on their faces when they opened up their cabbage patch dolls.
And it was as joyful as I had hoped. They were so surprised. After all, everyone knew that these dolls were very hard to come by.  My girls squealed and danced around with their cabbage patch kids clung to their chest.  How they loved them.  It was great!
But it didn’t last.
In a short time these longed-for dolls joined the rest of the toys in the toy box. It seems that maybe they weren’t as absolutely necessary as the girls thought. Or as I thought for that matter. Amazing what a bit of public hype can do to a persons’ reasoning.
We’ve all had this happen. Our children think they just HAVE to have something. We finally give in and buy it, only to find out that its’ greatness is short lived.
Actually, that happens to adults just as often. How many things do we get talked into buying? We are made to believe that a new gadget is an absolute necessity. We deserve it. But once it’s home it’s importance changes dramatically. The anticipation was the best part.
We anticipate Christmas and all that it means. And yes, we hope for the gift that we think is absolutely necessary to make our life fulfilled.
And we will receive that gift this year. But it won’t be a cabbage patch doll, or a car, or a diamond, or a vacumn cleaner.  All those things loose their shine pretty fast. Especially  the vacumn cleaner!   But even a diamond can loose its sparkle!
The gift we’ll receive this year is truly necessary. It will delight us. And it will never loose it’s importance.
The gift we’ll receive this year is hope…hope in the form of new beginnings.
It is peace…peaceful as the sound of a baby’s trusting coo.
Our gift is love…the great love of one giving their life for another
This Christmas our gift is joy. Great joy. Great and lasting joy. Forever and ever, your cup runneth over, kind of joy.
I wonder, would we be willing to line up for hours with a group of over-anxious parents  in front of a busy Walmart store if it was annouced that this gift of hope, peace, joy and love was a limited edition?
I would.
God bless