The countdown is on with three weeks to go until Christmas. Which makes this my personal “crunch” week to make sure my decorating, initial baking, and shopping is done. Of course, as a perpetual planner, I’d rather check everything off my list ahead of time so I’m able to simply soak in the season as the days go by. (Not to mention, the college boy only gets eight days off before having to report back for practice…and most of those days fall before Christmas Day.)

That said, it doesn’t take much of a foray into any store—even for a gallon of milk—to see that Christmas advertising has permeated every aisle. Even television commercials are filled with enticing domestic scenes and the latest/greatest thing to get for the loved ones on your list. (As if money were no object!)

As I craft my shopping list, I try to find the perfect thing for each person. Something beyond a generic gift card that instead shows how I’ve been paying attention to what interests them…and have found a gift they truly want while making them feel loved in the process.

Not to say that finding that perfect gift is easy. Often, I have to brainstorm with others to come up with ideas. But seeing faces light up on Christmas morning makes the extra effort worth it.

However, inevitably, someone turns the question back on me. What do I want for Christmas? That’s easy. Books. (Or an Amazon gift card so I can buy the latest gotta-have-it title when the urge strikes.) Sometimes I’ve asked for writing software or a new Bluetooth keyboard so I can write on the go or even money toward a mountain writing retreat with friends.

What else do I want? Peace in my home and in my heart. Direction for which way to take my writing career. Financial freedom to pursue those dreams. Chunks of quiet so I can crank out those new stories. More precious memory-building moments with my children. (And while I’m building this dream list, for the special-needs Princess’ hormones to calm down so I don’t get yelled at or whined to for hours every day.)

Except most of these things can’t be bought at a store. Or even put on a handmade gift certificate from a loved one. The gifts I truly want—the gifts I need the most—come from One Source alone.

And He always gives me exactly what I need precisely when I need it. Why? Because He’s able. And he knows me intimately enough to supply the thing I didn’t even realize was missing.

The perfect gift is closer than I think. It’s only a prayer away.

What about you? Are you a Christmas planner or procrastinator? Is your list made even if the shopping isn’t done? What would be the perfect gift for you this Christmas?

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