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Love is the Best Christmas Gift


By Barrington H. Brennen, December 19, 2018



Dear readers, while you are shopping for Christmas gifts for your loved ones, remember that the price of the gift does not determine the quality of your love. In reality, the price of the gift may reveal your pride and self-centeredness.  


Practically, the best gift to give this Christian is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.  If you are giving a gift of food or clothing to someone who is in need then make sure it is accompanied with a heart full of love.   Let the receiver of the gift see it in your eyes, smile, and warm genuine hugs.  Let them hear it is your tender voice of compassion and understanding.   Why is the gift of love so important?  


Most times we forget about the real reason for giving, even when it is the giving of things. Far too many people are hurting.   Far too many families are wounded.   Christmas time can be the most painful time of the year for many.  There is loneliness and depression.  I call this the “Christmas blues.”  


Two decades ago I wrote: “One reason so many can be depressed and lonely during Christmas time is often centered on the idea of what Christmas is all about---a time for family togetherness. Too many marriages have broken up around Christmas time. Some of the most painful explosive arguments, secret revelations, and family fights, have occurred during or around Christmas time.


There are many husbands who have lost custody of their children, learned that their wives were cheating on them during Christmas time. There are many wives who have experienced the worse of marital discords, learned that their husbands had sex with other women who might have AIDS, all during Christmas. There are many who have lost their most precious loved ones, through death during Christmas time. On the other hand, there are many children who have had their biggest fights with brothers and sisters over toys or experience the pain of parent favoritism during Christmas time. How then could Christmas be fun?”


Unfortunately, depression and sadness increase during Christmas time.  The more reason, for those of us who can, should give the gift of love.  Love cannot be wrapped in expensive, beautiful paper.  It cannot be bought at our local stores.  It cannot be crafted or manufactured by any of our local artisans.   It can only be given from a true heart of understanding, kindness and compassion.   Find a way of giving lots of love this Christmas, especially to those who are wounded emotionally and who are abandoned on the streets of rejection, indifference, shame, and frustration.  We need to love them because Christmas sadness and depression is most painful.  We need to love them because they are human just like us.



Christmas time is a time many parents mess up the most.  They seek to “purchase” the love of they children by giving them all the gifts they want, no matter the cost.  This is not love and might be proven to be detrimental in the long run.  Do not seek to buy the love of your children by giving them an expensive iPad when you haven’t taken care of their much-needed dental work (that is an embarrassment to them) or you haven’t even hugged them and told them that you love them.   Some parents would give the gifts knowing that their children want them but that is all they do.  They do not stay around and spend time to talk, laugh, hug, or just have fun.  Please parents, make sure you spend time with your children this Christmas.


There is a great challenge with those persons who have children “all over the place”—Children will this one, that one and the other one.  How can they truly spread their unconditional love?   How can they get close?  It is impossible.  Therefore, far too many children are being raised without that important ingredient—true love—warmth, compassion, understanding.    It is important to realize that love is best expressed by action not just talking about it.  How then can all of those fifteen children for seven mothers/fathers truly receive love?  They cannot.   


Maybe you are saying that all fifteen can be gathered at one location for a Christmas special.  The problem is most of them think they are the only one and some of the parents are not aware of the giant flock of off springs. It’s impossible.   Now we are beginning to understand why far too many of our youth are angry and cold are most susceptible to joining gangs.


The love I am writing about today give pierced through the barriers of shame, coldness, anger, and frustration.  Make it a point to reach out to someone this Christmas in a way you haven’t done before.  Express your love unconditionally.   Writer Lisa Pool states:  “Unconditional love is caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.”

Share you love today.



Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, BCCP, a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to question@soencouragement.org  or write to P.O. Box CB-11045 Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org    or call 242-327-1980




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