One thing less appreciated than unsolicited advice is unsolicited advice offered too little and too late.

It is clearly now past the time for any additional Christmas shopping. Even Amazon can’t get it delivered in time at this point.

So while my information might only be relevant for no more than an “Oops!” moment, here are some suggestions for that perfect Christmas gift. Or more precisely, here are some cautions against very imperfect Christmas gifts.

After 15 minutes of exhaustive research on the Internet, I discovered some helpful hints on what NOT to give a woman for Christmas.  

She doesn’t want a fishing license or a Jenny Craig membership. Neither will she be thrilled with a steering wheel cover, anti-wrinkle cream, a vacuum cleaner or bathroom scales. And she will definitely not appreciate a self-improvement book.

But the worst gift of all to give a woman is … nothing at all.

Any husband knows that is the most terrible of oversights. (She might even prefer that steering wheel cover. And that will only keep you in the doghouse for a week instead of the whole year.)

Even the most clueless of us husbands intuitively or experientially know not to put one of those presents under the tree. We would never knowingly choose an undesirable gift. No, our annual hope is to select that perfect gift.

I have childhood recollections of searching for my own perfect Christmas gift in the Sears Roebuck Christmas Wish Book.

You can now actually buy the catalog itself on ebay for $125. That is a bit ironic since the allowable gift budget established by my parents was never anywhere near that high. And my arguments that Santa Claus was not concerned about prices never seemed to hold much sway.

Each December I would spend hours searching for the gift I wanted to receive.

 Now with marriage and parentage, I desire to find that ideal gift to give. But along the way I have learned something about those perfect gifts.

Perfect gifts wear out – usually just a week after the warranty expires.

The ideal gift of the moment soon becomes out of date. And those gifts too often turn out to not be as enjoyable as pictured or promised.

Plus, another perfect Christmas gift has to be selected again next year.

Yet every Christmas we continue to shop for the perfect gift. And we continue to discover that there is no perfect gift to be found.

But actually there is.

Luke records it in the second chapter of his gospel narrative.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

There really is a Perfect Gift. He was given in perfect love. And He was exactly what we needed.

Merry Christmas.

Treasure the Perfect Gift God has given you.

Joe Langley serves as the pastor of Park Meadows Baptist Church in Waxahachie.