November 23, 2019
By Julia Bettencourt
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14One of the best things I’ve always loved about Christmas is making handmade gifts and decorations. I’m a crafty person so I guess it falls in the fun category for me, but it’s more than just fun. It’s a meaningful thing for me. There’s such a satisfaction to see the look in someone’s face when they know you’ve taken the time to go the extra mile for them or to do something catered just for them.I’ve always enjoyed being on the receiving end of those homemade gifts and goodies as well, especially those ones that come from the oven. They envelop all of your senses and help develop some wonderful memories for the future.I really don’t think you have to be crafty or make your ornaments or gifts yourself to enjoy a handmade Christmas though. I think we can make our own handmade Christmas by just using our hands to make it a special time. You might not be cross-stitching or sewing or any of those things, but you might be putting a little time in to decorate and make things special for your family. You might be donating some time to a soup kitchen, going through your closets to make donations, taking some canned goods to the food bank. You may just be planning your activities so you can schedule in the people you love in order to spend time with them. I think it’s all those special touches we add in that makes it a Handmade Christmas. A Handmade Christmas Speaks to the Heart.When we say someone “speaks to the heart”, we consider that what they say or do is real and genuine. That is how Christ always has spoken. We see it in the way He dealt with people when He was on earth and we see it in how His Word is written for us. We see it in how Christ deals with us and speaks to us on a continual basis. Of course not literally speaks, but how the Lord can give those words of comfort and joy to us when we most need them. He may send along a friend to encourage us, give us a sermon, or a Bible verse that we realize is just for us personally. A Handmade Christmas Requires Investment.Being a crafter most of my life, I know there are those things you can do on a budget but I also know that creating can also cost a pretty penny. It depends what you are doing. I’ve created things for gifts that I know would have been much cheaper and easier if I’d had purchased them, but to me it was worth it to put in the money, time, and labor required. Not only do those handmade gifts take an investment but even for those who aren’t cut out for the creating scene, gift giving in general still takes time, effort, and investment. That is especially true when you have to go to ten places, fighting crowds, weather, and all the other things that tend to slow down our holiday shopping endeavors.I love the fact that Christ invested in me. At Christmas we are reminded how Christ left His heavenly home and came to this earth, and He literally gave His life for us on the cross. A Handmade Christmas is Filled With Love.When people take the time and effort to make homemade goodies for others, or take the time to purchase gifts for their family and friends, it is one of the ways they show their love. When Christ came on that first Christmas so long ago, look at the love that God showed toward us. John 3:16, says that “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…”. A Handmade Christmas is Intended to be Passed On.I like the idea of sharing gifts at Christmas. I think it is a reminder of how God gave us the Greatest Gift of His Son. We give baked goodies out to share. We give special gifts that can be kept and passed on to one’s family. We do things that can be passed on as traditions. The passing on of gifts and traditions is at the very heart of how most of us celebrate Christmas.What better thing can we pass on than God’s love and His Son? We are admonished to “go” and tell the world, and Christmas is such an opportunity to witness to others that we should take advantage of it. Conclusion:I love all those homemade goodies at Christmas from the gingerbread men and sugar cookies that come popping out of the oven to taking out the Christmas boxes and looking through all the ornaments my kids have made for me over the years and putting them on the tree. Those are the things that give me a wonderful feeling. Handmade means made with your hands and that is what makes a Handmade Christmas so special. It isn’t necessarily making everything with material, wood, or yarn. We aren’t all crafters and bakers, but it is putting your hands on Christmas with a special touch whether it’s for your family, friends, or community. It includes all that love and effort that people give to spend time with their families and show their love by choosing the very best gifts to give for each person. What a wonderful gift that God gave us. He knew exactly what we needed as humans. We needed a Savior. It was the greatest way He could show His love for us. Christ was our Gift made and given by God’s own hand. And oh what a treat He gave us in the Christmas story! We have a star, angels, shepherds, wise men, and a little Baby born through a miraculous birth. You can clearly see God’s hand in all that transpired in the Christmas Story. So, what handmade touch will you give this Christmas?