(And don't get me started on the kids' toys. My goodness!)
I also must confess that I am not the best gift-recipient. My wife has told me so. Every Christmas. For the past eleven years.
It's not that I'm not appreciative. I really am. I just don't know how I can possibly express the level of gratitude for the massive number of presents I receive.
Now, I'm sure I could go on and on about materialism, but I'm not. No, you see, this year I had a bit of a revelation. It's nothing original with me. But this year during the Advent Season (leading up to Christmas Day) I found myself simultaneously reflecting on the first coming of Christ, while longing for his second coming - the Second Advent. I was also very intentional of celebrating Christmastide - the twelve days after Christmas.
Once the gift-giving-frenzy concluded (which lasts from about December 20th-December 31st in my family) I found myself sorting through all my stuff. Once again overwhelmed. Once again realizing I had more things than I had time to use. And it hit me.
These gifts are a shadow of eternity.
More than I deserved, more than I earned, more than I could ever express proper gratitude for, these presents are metaphors for the rewards I will receive in the New Heaven and the New Earth.
None of those rewards are deserved, either. Yet, God will lavish them upon me, and all his children. It will be more than I can handle. Far beyond my imagination.
My family Christmas is a small glimmer of that ultimate reality.
Even so, Come Lord Jesus. Come.