That’s probably one of the most asked questions when seeing friends after Christmas.   At least when I was a kid……

Let me tell you what I got for Christmas…….

I got gratitude.   Gratitude for family.   Gratitude that many of them live close enough to get together for Christmas – even if it’s not on Christmas day.

I got hugs.   Hugs from the kids.    Hugs from my kids and hugs from the niece (and niece in laws) and nephews.  The fact that all of my kids are still willing to do that is an awesome thing.

I got time.   Both my parents and my in-laws are here to enjoy, to spend time with and to see my kids enjoy spending time with.  

I have a wife.   Not only a wife, but a wife who celebrates a birthday every year in the middle of the all of the commotion of Christmas.    A wife who has been by my side for “many” years.    A best friend.   And a selfless nurse who cares for little babies who can’t be home with their families on Christmas.  

I got the opportunity to walk through the story of Advent with Ann Voskamp’s book , “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift,” this year.   All of us were blessed by her writing and walking the path of Advent with her this year.

I got brothers.   Well, I had them already, but it’s a gift to have brothers that I not only love but also actually like (at least most of the time.)

I got Jesus.   Well, I already had Him, but once again to be reminded of what God has done for me is an awesome thing.

Given all of these gifts, I also got a renewed sense that God has given us all a responsibility.    It’s a responsibility to do something with that gratitude.   It’s a responsibility to share with those who aren’t as filled with gratitude at this time of year.   It’s a responsibility to reflect that love.    To show the patience that this world needs.   To stand up to wrong.    To work for good.

To reflect God’s love to a hurting world.

That’s what I got for Christmas……..

How about you?

Tom

P.S. I did get some really cool toys from my family too……..