According to The Conference Board Holiday Spending Survey, US consumers plan to spend an average of $985 on holiday-related items in 2023, less than the $1,006 reported in 2022. As part of this total, consumers intend to spend an average of $654 on holiday gifts, up 6.7% from $613 last year.
I have no idea what your Christmas giving will look like. You might have many to whom you wish to give a gift. Or perhaps your gift exchange is limited to a few. As Karen and I were engaged to be married fifty-two years ago, we were struck by this thought. The shepherds were the first on the scene of our Lord’s birth (Luke 2:8-20). That’s wonderful. But later the wisemen would arrive and they brought gifts (Matthew 2:1-11). Think of it!
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).
We never had treasures to present to Him. But we decided before we were married that we would personally select one of the Lord’s dear ministries to which we would give an extra gift in honor of the Lord’s coming to us. I want to encourage you to put the Lord Jesus and one of His ministries at the top of your Christmas list this year.
I can’t escape that little phrase: “They fell down and worshipped… they presented unto Him gifts.” I hope I never lose that joy and thrill. How about you?