Today’s Truth

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Gift-giving is not my strong suit. I stand in the aisles of stores slack-jawed with my eyes glazed over. I don’t know how to choose between the Cranberry Cinnamon Scone candle or the Christmas Cookie one. I just get hungry and go home empty-handed. Or if I dare to pick one it turns out to actually smell like the poor old pumpkin that has been on the porch since Halloween.

I’m not only like this with gifts for other people; I’m the same way with myself. I need quiet and instead I say “yes” to one more event on the calendar. I desperately want peace and instead make a to-do list so long it rivals Santa’s. I long for joy and yet I tell myself the holidays need to be perfect until I’m gritting my teeth and stress-eating candy canes leftover from last year. Ever been there?

So I, quite audaciously, decided to pause and intentionally ask this question: “What gift am I going to give myself this Christmas?”

I already have pink fuzzy socks and flannel pajama pants with hearts on them so I settled on this: Permission to rest.

In Mark 6:31, right after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus says to the disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

This invitation is extended to you and to me as well – this Christmas season and every day of the year.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

What does rest look like to me? It’s the little things: a nap, a cup of tea, a few moments sitting with my husband on the couch, a cozy blanket, a “no” instead of “yes” sometimes, leftovers for dinner. And, perhaps most of all, giving the critical voice inside my head the holiday season off. I’m sending her somewhere sunny like Florida or the Caribbean or Australia. Anywhere that’s far enough away that I can’t hear her. A one-way ticket, I hope.

I used to think “rest” was selfish, but then two things happened:

I read a whole lot of research that showed happier people are more giving, kind and generous.

And a friend said something to me that I’ll never forget: “Sometimes rest is an act of worship.”

Both of these makes good sense to me. So I’m picking “permission to rest” as a gift to myself because I know if I do then this gift will ultimately be passed on to the people I love and the Savior I serve and this weary world.

I may never be the best gift-giver, but I’m slowly learning. Maybe next year I’ll even be brave enough to venture back into the candle aisle.

Let’s Pray

God, it can feel as if we have to carry the weight of the world in our shoulders. But the truth is, we are children who are cared for by a loving Father. The weight of the world isn’t on our shoulders, it’s in Your hands, and we are too. Help us to be children who rest and trust and delight in You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What gift would you like to give yourself this Christmas? I’d love for you to share your answer by leaving a comment on this post.

More from the Girlfriends

Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You! If you’re an introvert, or you love, lead, or share life with one, you need this book today! (It would also be a great Christmas present and a way to say “I see you” to an introvert you love.)

© 2020 by Holley Gerth. All rights reserved.

19 Responses to “What Gift Can You Give Yourself this Christmas?”

  1. Cathy says:

    This year I am giving myself the gift of presence.
    I vow not to be so absorbed with what I have to do next that I miss what I should be experiencing now. I want to see, to listen, to love my family like never before. And I don’t want to see them with 1/2 my face hiding behind my phone as I take pictures. I want to make mental pictures to carry with me forever. I once went to an Amish wedding wear no cameras we’re allowed. I proceeded to take many mental photos as the 3hr German language ceremony took place. There were the pegs on the barn walls where the men’s black hats and boys straw hats hung. There were the rows of women and girls sitting in subdued jewel colored dresses with stiffly starched bonnets. And the window. On the window sill were stacks of Bibles framing the open window where beyond was a field of buggies and a tent full of the horses that brought the guests to the farm that day. I was really present for that celebration.
    This year, I want to be present for our family’s celebration of the birth of Christ.

  2. Aurora says:

    The gift I give myself solitude. I work in a busy dr. office. I love working it’s people but sometimes I just need the time alone. Sometimes I just want to come home and sit in a dark quiet corner. No tv, no cell phone , no conversation just plain peace and quiet. So I I would like to give myself some solitude.

  3. Colleen says:

    the gift of peace

  4. Bernadette says:

    My gift to myself is not to push or force myself to get the housework done in time for Christmas Day.

  5. Jeneyl says:

    Thank you. I literally just threw out my Halloween pumpkins yesterday that were sitting on my patio
    We all need to give ourselves permission to rest so we can recharge and adjust our perspective. I hope you are able to rest this Holiday season. Merry Christmas

  6. Allison says:

    I, too, am not a good gift giver. I tend to try to be very practical in my gift giving, and that’s not always popular, so often I end up with a gift card or something other people consider cheesy. This Devo is a great reminder, so this Christmas I’m giving myself grace. Grace to let go of all the good intentions and desires I have had of things to do for the holidays. As a fulltime working mom, I just cannot get it all in, and then I regret and wish there was more time to prepare, spend with family, more acts of kindness…How I want to, but it just doesn’t happen. Merry Christmas everyone!

  7. AnaIsabel says:

    Content. Being thankful for what I have in the present moment.

  8. Naomi says:

    The gift I would like to give to myself is Forgiveness…… tried for many years but just can’t do it. I feel if I can’t forgive myself why should God.

  9. JJ says:

    My gift to me would be “let go and let God” my dad went into a nursing home last February, 3 weeks before the lockdown. I feel guilt, fear, and anguish. My wish is for freedom from that.

  10. Lynne says:

    This year for Christmas, I am giving myself the gift of LOVE. Not so much giving it as accepting it from the greatest gift giver of all. For the majority of my adult life I have been alone and desperately longing for that kind of love you see in a Hallmark movie.

    “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

    Just over a month ago someone I have carried hidden deep in my heart for many years resurfaced. In obedience to the voice of my Heavenly Father that I have become so used to hearing in these years of learning to walk in the center of God’s goodness in spite of myself, I stepped out of my comfort zone and straight onto Holy ground. Love reborn of forgiveness, understanding and peace. Last night near midnight, I had the privilege and honor of being invited to join the family in saying a final goodbye… my heart cries, it was not enough time, the enemy whispers of things I should have said, things I should have done. Yet I know my God is sovereign. How very grateful I am that my Heavenly Father so patiently and lovingly taught me to recognize His promptings.

    This year Christmas Eve will feel slightly different. This year it will come with an assurance that somebody really did love me, and though that person can’t be with me, despite all that has happened this year, despite all that I have gained and lost, Christmas will come once again in it’s peacefully tender way and will settle comfortably in my heart… Immanuel, God with me! And the gift of pure LOVE will settle in.

    Abba Father,
    Thank you isn’t enough. Your providential sovereignty in my life brought healing in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Thank You for directing my steps. Thank You for making manifest in my life the promise of Isaiah‬ ‭45:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    “I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places.” Thank You for Your faithfulness and for pulling out the bitter roots so that something precious could grow. How you love me! Thank You for holding me all these years and bringing us full circle before taking him home. In Jesus name Amen.

  11. Melissa says:

    I would love the gift of not feeling it’s my job to make sure Christmas is perfect for everyone in my home.

  12. Darlene says:

    To enjoy the presence of christ in a quiet house on Christmas day, part of covid status, grown children, will see some family this weak in person,so much to thank him for. Just learned one box sent out was sent back, address issue, God will help us get it there, gifts includes for my great granddaughter 5yr old. Keep smiling. Nephew wife in her 40’s on hospice, limited time on earth.will be her last Christmas with her family. Picking presents for 6 kids, spouses, 12 grandchildren, and now special persons,in their lives, one married, one just engaged,and he was just a challenge as a teen grandson growing up. Real gifts are people, in our life, granddaughter Kelly just called to talk to gramma. All good, God is so good, this season he has the whole world in his hands, and our world and family are included. My growing up was not good, not good memories, remember one Christmas tre÷, the one me my brother cut down about 10 years old we thought we were in the forest, but it was dark, it was in our neighbors front yard, they never said a word to us, later as a neighbor them told us they new what happened, and was not mad. They were good neighbors, who intervened with calls to police to help us kids out in difficult situations.Jesus is the reason for the season, not gifts under the tree, my granddaughter phone call was one gift writing interruption yoday. MERRY Christmas.

  13. Carrie says:

    My gift to myself this Christmas is time with God, and to try to allow His grace and his voice to be louder than the regrets, mistakes, and sins that weigh heavy on me. I give myself permission to let go of my past and embrace Jesus’ sacrifice for forgiveness.

  14. Holley Gerth says:

    Thank you for sharing your hearts and stories! Reading and praying!

  15. Linda says:

    I want to learn acceptance. I rarely feel that I measure up; why would someone want to be with me or do things with me. I want to remember I am a daughter of the King & a friend of God.

  16. Judy says:

    This year the greatest gift I can give to myself is gratitude, silence and a time for counting my blessings. This year has made me grateful to be alive, it’s good to have silence from the usual Christmas drama. and time to realize what a blessing it is to still be here.

  17. Felimar says:

    My gift to myself this Christmas is to sit down and read good Christian books and watch good Christian movies. Any suggestions? It gives me more align with Jesus.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8