St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
Emergency Hotline Info


A Note from Pastor Melissa-December 2, 2021

Posted on December 2, 2021 at 10:20 am in .

Gift-giving was never a major part of my family’s Christmas holidays. While I always was excited for my Santa gifts, gifts between family were often practical. There was almost always a white envelope or two that appeared on the tree that contained savings bonds for me when I was growing up. We celebrated family at Christmas more often with experiences, or simply with sitting and being together since family always lived a few hours away so that time together was precious.

But when Will and I started dating seriously, I was ushered into a whole other world of Christmas. For the Cooper family, gift-giving is a huge part of how they showed love and care for one another. Wrapping presents specifically is a special part of the tradition; EVERYTHING is wrapped, from the largest box to the individual items in stockings like toothbrushes and boxes of candy. The process of opening presents is an all-day extravaganza, and the joy that fills the room is one that I have never felt anywhere else.

It was never about the cost of the gifts – it’s not about how large they were or how impressive. We show off and celebrate every item, whether a new appliance or a nice sweater, or a pack of gum. The importance of it all is much more about how each gift was given as a way to show another family member was loved and known.

The first year, though, it was overwhelming – both for me experiencing an avalanche of wrapped presents, and for my new family trying to figure out my likes, dislikes, and of course, clothing sizes.

I’m celebrating my 16th Christmas with the Cooper family this year, and it’s become a much less stressful process. We know each other well, and both I and my chosen family have a better handle on those little touches that let each other know they are known and loved through gift-giving.

And that’s the question we’re inviting you to consider this weekend at our Christmas Concert, “A Gift for the King” – what gift can you bring this Advent to the King who is to be born in Bethlehem?

In our concert, our Children’s and Sanctuary Choirs will lead us through the story of Christmas told from the perspective of a little boy who wants to share his gift with the King, and he discovers that even he can share the smallest of gifts with the greatest of Kings!

We also will be kicking off our Advent offering to help Restore Hope to end hunger and homelessness for children in central Florida so we can honor the child who was born into homelessness in a stable himself.

You can get your tickets, or sign up to help welcome guests as a volunteer here.

I pray whatever gift you have to bring, you bring with great joy as we continue to journey through Advent together and look forward to celebrating Christ’s birth on Christmas Eve together!

Click here to read the full Weekly Update.

Scroll for
More Content