|Q: This may sound silly, but how do you thank someone for a Christmas gift you didn’t really want, and will never use? I don’t want to lie and tell them I like it, but what should I say? I always try to write my thank-you notes right after Christmas. — Mrs. A.G.
A: I commend you for writing your thank-you notes so soon after Christmas; it’s not only a good social practice, but it keeps you from delaying them for so long that you eventually forget to do it.
After all, when we thoughtlessly ignore what someone has done for us — giving us a gift, helping us in some way, sacrificing their time to encourage us, and so forth — it means that we’ve allowed ingratitude and selfishness to control us. But that’s not right, either in the eyes of others or in the eyes of God. Do you remember the 10 lepers whom Jesus healed on one occasion? (You can read of them in Luke 17:11-19). They all were delighted to be healed — but sadly, only one turned back and thanked Jesus for what He had done.
How should you thank someone for a gift you won’t ever use? Even if you can’t truthfully thank them for the gift, you can at least thank them for their thoughtfulness. They presumably spent time (and money) choosing it, and it’s entirely appropriate to thank them for their kindness and their friendship. Remember: you’ve probably given gifts to people who felt exactly the same!
But don’t overlook the greatest gift you can ever receive — and that is the gift of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ. He left Heaven’s glory to make your salvation possible. Have you thanked Him by welcoming Him into your life? Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7).
(Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)