Long before there was Cyber Monday, Amazon.com, digital store ads and multitudes of television commercials for every imaginable (and some unimaginable) products … there was the Sears catalog.
When Richard Sears first used printed mailers to advertise his products in 1888, the time was ripe for mail order business. Fueled by the Homestead Act of 1862, America’s westward expansion put many far from actual stores.
The expansion of merchandise followed suit.
Even when stores were available, there wasn’t room to display everything that Sears had to offer, so finding it in their ‘Wish Book’ and ordering it for delivery was the typical way things were purchased for many years.
It was through one of Sear’s Christmas Wish Book editions around 1971 that our two young sons learned the truth that it is more ‘blessed to give than to receive.’ They pooled some of their allowance and pored over the pages in search of a gift for their Mom and Dad. They skirted the toy section and headed to household items where they found “it” … the perfect gift.
The picture portrayed a grandfather clock beautifully and they probably figured it would be at least five feet high. They secretly had their grandpa order it for them and as a special precaution, cut out the picture from the catalog so we would have no idea what they were doing. (But one clock cut from the middle of a page of other clocks did give us a slight hint!)
When it arrived its diminutive size didn’t dampen their excitement in the least. They could barely control their anticipation as they wrapped it and put it prominently on display under the tree.
And can you guess which gift they wanted opened first that Christmas? Not one of theirs. Oh no … they insisted that we open our gift first. I could easily relate to what they were feeling for I felt the same whenever their eyes lit up opening a gift from Joanie and me. There is something electrifying and powerful about giving a gift to someone!
In these few weeks leading up to Christmas Day I can see a smile of anticipation from the Heavenly Father as He carefully wraps and lays his gifts under our trees. There’s hope for the hopeless, peace for the frazzled, health for the sick, rest for the weary and salvation for all who find themselves trapped beneath guilt and recrimination.
We desperately need his salvation and oh, the joy He receives as we receive that most important gift!
“Now thanks be to God for His indescribable gift [which is precious beyond words]!”
II Corinthians 9:15 Amplified Bible