“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:8-11.

This time of year evokes a deep sense of gratitude because I reminisce my childhood around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In past devotions I’ve shared how I did not grow up with a lot of monetary blessings; some Thanksgiving dinners were baked chicken breasts, rather than a Turkey, and many of my Christmas presents were from the Dollar Store. None of those memories bring me to a place of sadness; rather, I feel so blessed to feel a great depth of love interwoven with each meal and celebration.

Fancy dinners are quickly eaten and forgotten, but the family traditions that are made and love shared are what make memories become legacy. Expensive toys are lost, ruined, or outgrown, but learning that love is more valuable than material items is priceless.

Love is a treasured gift, and it is something we can all give and receive without needing a robust checking account. I love to give gifts, but when I begin to feel pressure to ‘deliver’ something spectacular, that is the moment I need to step back and reevaluate my motives. We feel a lot of pressure to have an Instagram-worthy Thanksgiving meal, but in the process of creating perfection, are you trading special moments for stress, disappointment, debt, and exhaustion?

By all means, go all out, if that’s what you enjoy doing—don’t let me discourage an unforgettable spread at Thanksgiving and awesome, heartfelt gifts for your loved ones at Christmas. But, while doing ‘all the things,’ take time to make memories. Engage in meaningful conversations, sit on the floor and play with your kids, don’t wait to share your heart for another time—the time is now, no one is promised tomorrow.

The things we express at funerals should be the things we share at birthday parties and family gatherings.

Many of us feel like Covid has stolen many of our memories with loved ones due to the restrictions of the last year and a half, so let’s be intentional about making moments last a lifetime.

Prayer: Jesus, You are not only the ‘reason for the Season,’ but You are the reason for every day. I desire to make You the center of every celebration, family gathering, and the reason behind every decision I make. I pray that You would create a closeness in my family that we have never experienced; let my family remember the love they felt when we gathered together, and I pray that you will bring healing to any broken places of our lives. Help me make You a priority every day, not just on a Sunday or during the holidays, but throughout the entire year. Thank you for the gift of Your love that is unconditional and everlasting.

Author

Angela Overton is a lover of words, nature, and coffee. She is an ordained minister with the UPCI, has a Masters Degree in Theology, and loves to teach Bible studies. She and her amazing husband, Michael, pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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