December 25th is inching ever closer. There is still time to shop for your Christmas presents but you should brace yourself for the fact that there is a high probability you won’t get it right. According to a research commissioned by Gumtree in 2015, 71% of Aussies received unwanted Christmas presents. That equated to 20 million gifts worth in excess of $600 million dollars!

What did Aussies do with them? Many sold them online with some doing it less than 24 hours after Christmas! Gumtree reported a 30% spike in listings on their website. The biggest sellers were the Gen-Yers, followed by Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers.

If they were not sold online, 54% were exchanged or altered. Men were pickier than women! Only 37% men chose to keep their gift rather than returned it compared to 48% of women. The survey found ‘in-laws’ to be the most guilty givers of dud gifts. Around 9.5 million Aussies were guilty of re-gifting presents.

Unwanted presents weren’t ‘cheap and nasty’. Examples include ‘Pandora’ jewellery, Nike trainers, golf clubs etc. Toys included Xbox bundle, Leap Frog learning tablets etc. Not encouraging stats I’m afraid. However, don’t stress! Do the best you can but keep the receipts!

Evidently, God got it wrong too with getting us the right present. When the perfect time arrived, God gave us His most precious gift, His Son, born of a woman to secure our freedom from ‘slavery’ to sin so He could adopt us as His children (read Galatians 4:4-7). How did we react? This is how the apostle John described our response, “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him” (John 1:10-11). Sadly, we ignored and returned God’s gift.

If you are not a believer of Jesus, I plead with you to, at the very least, unwrap God’s gift to you this Christmas. It doesn’t cost you anything to do this. Check Jesus out! If you are a believer, what are you doing with God’s priceless gift? Has He been hidden somewhere, gathering dust? Is He in your keepsake or memory box stored away in storage who gets a look in only when you get the time? Let’s make this Christmas different!

God’s promise to everyone who unwraps, receives and makes His indescribable gift his own, they will receive the right to become His children. They will get to experience what it means to be His children (read John 1:12, Romans 8:15-17).

Mark