Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. —James 1:17
FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE FANS OF HALLMARK’S WHEN CALLS THE HEART TELEVISION SERIES, the characters of the show seem like family. Yes, they’re fictional characters from the fictional town of Hope Valley, but we can learn some valuable lessons from them — at Christmas and throughout the year.
For example, from the beloved characters of Lee and Rosemary Coulter…Lee Coulter wanted to do something special for his wife, Rosemary, for their first Christmas as husband and wife. Knowing of her love for baubles, he bought her a unique brooch for her Christmas gift — one he thought would tickle her fancy.
Lee also knew of her penchant for snooping, so he hid the gift in a place she’d never look. But ever-vigilant Rosemary spied it out anyway — and let’s just say she wasn’t excited about her new accessory. “Horrified” might be a better word.
It’s easy to chuckle at fictional characters who have over-the-top reactions to poorly chosen gifts — but what do you do when you receive a gift that disappoints you? Or when you open a package that isn’t what you hoped for — such as that hideous sweater from Grandma?
The good news is that God’s gifts never disappoint.
One of his best gifts is the people in our lives who love us. They may offer us presents that either delight or displease, but the real present is their presence. What better blessing is there than knowing we can have deep, meaningful relationships with family and friends, no matter what their taste is in gift-giving.
God has put those people in our lives as a preview of his greatest gift: the beloved Son sent to earth to bring us peace, joy, purpose and salvation. And when you open that gift, not only will it never disappoint … it will change your whole world.
Lord, for Christmas this year, please give me a thankful heart. Help me to be grateful for all the gifts in my life, whether they be people, presents or purposes you have for me, and thank you for accepting the sometimes pitiful gifts I bring to you. Help me to have the same graciousness for others that you have for me. Amen.
And here’s a fun Christmas recipe from one of the Hearties (the fans of When Calls the Heart).
Mini Pepperoni Christmas Tree Pizzas From the Kitchen of Heartie Laurel Leidy-Cox
Sometimes, when we plan our holiday menus for parties and family get-togethers, we forget about having foods that the children will enjoy. These are always a favorite with the little ones — and with the kids-at-heart as well.
A bag of frozen yeast roll dough A jar of pizza sauce A bag of mozzarella cheese A bag of mini pepperoni piecesPreparationUse one frozen roll for each mini pizza. Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, leaving room for the dough as it rises and spreads. Heat the oven to about 170 degrees and then turn it off. Set the dough in there to rise. This will take three to five hours or until it’s doubled in size.
Pat the dough into a circle with your hands until it reaches the size of a mini pizza (approximately five inches across). Spread pizza sauce onto the dough. Top with mozzarella cheese, and then add the mini pepperoni pieces, shaping them into a simple Christmas tree shape.
Bake at 425 degrees for about seven to eight minutes or until the dough is lightly browned and the cheese is melted.
*Devotion and recipe from When God Calls the Heart at Christmas. Used with permission from BroadStreet Publishing.