Contributed by Pastor Sandra Berryman

Have you ever gone to a party where you exchanged a white elephant gift?

You know what a white elephant gift is—something cheap or weird that you own because someone gave it to you. You know. Pink flamingo boxer shorts, fluorescent socks, coffee cups honoring the inventors of Post-it notes or Velcro.

White elephant gifts have the same purpose as most fruitcakes: to get rid of them. The goal is to give it to some unsuspecting soul.

They are given as a joke at Christmas parties. Sometimes they are given because, quite frankly, you can’t afford a “real” gift, so you give hoping the humor of the situation will cover your inability to get something nicer.

We used to draw names for gift-giving, because the family was just too big. Now imagine that a new rule was introduced this year. The person whose name you drew is allowed to request anything they want, and you are required to give it to them.

This person has demanded your most prized possession. Your dog, boat, car . . .

Now we are going to look at God’s gift-giving pattern and see what we can learn about how to appreciate and reflect Him during this time of gift-giving.

What are some of God’s gifts to us? Eternal life, peace, grace, and faith for salvation. Wisdom for the trials of life. Daily provision for needs, and other blessings.

God has a style of giving. His gifts are good. His gifts are generous.

He makes us heirs, not with Bill Gates or the Rockefellers, but with Christ. Now how’s that for thinking big?

If we want to reflect God’s gift-giving pattern, we need to think not of “What can I get away with?” but rather, “How can I bless this person?”

Do you realize that God does not have to give us gifts? We don’t deserve them. If we deserved gifts, they wouldn’t be gifts; they would be wages.

His motivation for showering His people with blessings is His love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Have you opened God’s present for you?

Have you received God’s best gift? If not, open your heart today and ask Him to give it to you. It’s yours for the asking. But don’t stop there.

Offer the gift of God to others.

God didn’t give a white elephant gift. He gave us the very best he had to offer.