We started a new college-aged life group this year after taking a couple years off while Nick was sick, so we decided to bring back our traditional Christmas gift exchange where everyone brought something that they didn’t want anymore to “give away” as a gift.

home party 028 It was so funny to watch the kids open their presents!  I’m sure Matt is loving his new silk house plant!

home party 029   And this basket will look so lovely in Megan’s dorm room, won’t it??home party 035

CJ is probably sipping his tea from India every morning before school.

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Justin was so excited to get a jar of peanut butter!home party 037

Derek..what a combo.  The Case for Faith and a Hannah Montana short story!!home party 041

Heath has been looking and looking for a pop can holder just like this!!  Yeah!home party 030

Olivia was happy to find a stuffed animal in this blow dryer box!!!

But this little exchange below was my absolute favorite.

Notice Heath’s face (the guy in blue) as Sarah opens her gift.  He has secretly wrapped his roommate’s (sitting at the other end of the couch looking shocked) favorite cologne to give away!

home party 046 Heath is trying to look like he’s not even aware that it’s anything strange.  Sarah is in on the joke and is trying to act so excited to have this great new cologne.  Austin is totally in disbelief that Heath could be giving away something that isn’t even his!home party 043

  Just look at this face!!!  home party 044       By now, it is absolutely hysterical as Heath continues to stay calm and Austin sits in disbelief that his favorite cologne is in the hands of someone else.  And Tyler (in the middle) knows what is going on and is trying not to laugh but struggling to hold it in!!!  Austin still can’t believe what’s happening.  And finally Heath fesses up..and gives Sarah something different from his pocket and returns the cologne to Austin!home party 045 We laughed so hard.

As I think about this whole evening and the spirit of Christmas, I can’t help but think about what it means to “give our lives” to God.

Are we giving parts of life that don’t really matter to us anymore…used up parts of us that we won’t really miss? 

Are we giving things that don’t even cause us to feel as if we have sacrificed anything at all?

Or are we giving Him our all?

This Christmas exchange was just for fun.

Our life with God is serious business.

When we stand before Him one day, which we all will, how will we feel?

Like we gave Him our everything?

Hebrew 13:15-16

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

What am I sacrificing today in order to please Him?