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I don’t like to rush into things. Take Christmas, for example, everyone knows that the process needs to be planned out. You can’t just rush into these things.

OK the truth? I don’t like shopping… Especially at Christmas time. While I hear about people being “in the Christmas spirit,” I can’t seem to find any of those people when I’m out in the consumer world.

Maybe everyone is a little grouchy from having the Christmas shopping season and it’s specific products jammed down our throats since before Halloween? “You know, I’m just sayin’.” They’ve tried to turn this shopping season into a quarter of the year!

The people you see and talk to every day suddenly have nothing else to talk about. I dread the inevitable question. “You all done Christmas shopping”? I casually counter with the clever line I opened with, “I don’t like to rush into these things.”

I’m sure a few people along the way consider my actions, or lack thereof to be a bit on the calloused side. I want to ask them, “Who are you, the Christmas shopping police”?– “What’s it to you how or when I do my Christmas shopping”?

I refrain from those type of questions so as not to tip my calloused hand, metaphorically speaking of course…

It was easier when the kids were little. Toys are fun to buy even as an adult, those are the easy gifts. Of all the things I’ve purchased for my wife and daughters over the last 5 or 6 years, there’s only on thing that didn’t get returned. I think it was four years ago I picked up some ridiculously over-priced brand named jeans. Of the four I bought only Kenz didn’t return hers. They were still pretty good gifts.

I’m not sayin’ women are picky about clothes, jewelry, make-up, hairstyle, or anything like that. You know, I’m just sayin’.

In truth, if women only knew, some of us are confident everywhere, under almost all circumstances, but not in those types of stores.

It’s like sending our wives to the hardware store for tools and fasteners. Sometimes when I have to go to the hardware store I ask my wife, “Hey, you wanna go with me”? She suspiciously responds with one eyebrow raised, “Where to”? “The hardware store real quick.” I answer. Always the same tone flat response, “NO”!

I on the other hand, am like our dogs…They like treats… I like treats… I’m not gonna roll over, play dead, or anything like that, but I love the good food that this holiday inspires, that would be gift enough.

As far as gifts go, I’m not much more difficult to please in this arena. I love tennis shoes. That has become a tradition in our house. Year after year the same thing, dad gets tennis shoes for Christmas.

I know it, everyone knows it. Maybe the best part of unwrapping that tennis shoe box is the same worn out humor I use every year right before I open them. “HMMM, I wonder what this is”? I ask smiling. No one else smiles anymore. They don’t appreciate the classics. They roll their eyes… Which make it even funnier for me. They don’t think of my humor as a gift.

All the hustle and bustle, fighting crowds looking for something you don’t usually have any idea you’re looking for until you see it type of gifts.

The aggravation of fallen ornaments that leave the floor like a war zone complete with land mines. The presents that come with batteries that turn out to be dead.

All of that for this: A morning Christmas prayer giving thanks for God’s sacrifice of His son being born into flesh so that one day He could be the last perfect sacrifice for the final covering of sin.

I also give thanks for His protection and provision in our lives. Then, quality time with my loved ones as we exchange gifts, celebrating the only gift that truly matters.

The gift of eternal life. The only perfect gift ever given.