Of Gift Wrap and Incarnation

(Written By: Karen Kallberg)

Confession: I don’t love the gift aspect of Christmas.

Part of it is because I want to give gifts that make people feel truly loved and appreciated, but

most of the time, I am just trying to check people off the list, and so it feels like I’m giving crap

instead of love.

But another reason is because I dread wrapping all of the presents. I do occasionally have visions

of beautiful packages tied up with ribbons and string. I’ve even pinned gift-wrap ideas that

involve snowflakes and gold-dipped feathers, but let’s face it: I’m married to a graduate student,

so we stretch our budget by buying gift wrap when it’s on sale after Christmas. I also have a 3-

year old in the house, and that means I can’t wrap anything until after he finally falls asleep the

night before Christmas, and by that time, I just want to get the stuff wrapped and under the tree

so I can rest my weary head.

So this weekend, my husband and I found ourselves wrapping gifts until midnight. I didn’t even

bother with labels—just Sharpie’d it onto each package directly and then shoved them into the

stockings and under the tree. Partway through, I began wondering why I was even bothering with

wrapping the presents. What’s the point? The kids are just going to tear into the gifts and (if

we’re lucky) toss the discarded paper into the recycling bin. Is there really a reason for this


But there is. Listen, friends, we give at Christmas to remember that God first gave to us. He gave

us His very best gift—His beloved Son—to show us His infinite love. And did He wrap His gift?

Oh yes…

At Christmas, we celebrate incarnation. The God who is bigger than our church buildings, bigger

than our cities, bigger than our country, bigger than the earth, the constellations and

galaxies—this infinite God broke through time and space and wrapped Himself—not in shiny

paper or royal robes or even glorious light—no, He wrapped Himself in skin and bones and hair

and baby dimples.

The Almighty God became weak.

The Infinite God became limited.

The Omnipotent God became vulnerable.

God wrapped eternity in the limitations of mortal flesh.

This Christmas, wrap your gifts however you want, but take a moment before you tear into that

first gift. Hold it. Gaze at the gift wrap, and remember… God wrapped the very first Christmas

gift, and that gift wrap was just as much a gift as the Gift is.


Christ, by highest heaven adored; Christ, the everlasting Lord;

Late in time behold Him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th’ incarnate Deity,

Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

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