The Gifts of Christmas
Consider the real role of gifts in the Christmas story…
Those gifts were wrapped in miracles
which is probably why
we can’t find them at the mall
or in the mail order catalogues.
The first gift was of Spirit – unconditional love.
The next gift came from a Jewish teenager named Miriam
who was known to her family and friends as Mary.
Her Christmas present was availability and waiting.
the complete surrender of ego and will
needed to bring heaven
down to earth.
The gift of her fiancé, Joseph, was trust.
He trusted that Mary wasn’t pregnant
with another man’s child.
He really believed
there was a plan in the heart of God
to get them through this mess.
The Child brought forgiveness,
The Angels’ gifts were comfort, joy and peace.
the reassurance that there was nothing to fear,
so rejoice. He has come,
as He promised.
The Shepherd Boy’s gift was generosity.
He gave up what he loved the most –
his favorite lamb was the baby’s birthday present.
The innkeeper’s Wife gave a gift too. Hers was
selflessness and compassion.
She worked, in her own way, to find a warm, dry, safe place
for the homeless child to stay.
Her best blanket, which belonged to her grandmother,
was given to wrap the new mother and the little boy.
The father, too, felt the love and caring
of the innkeeper’s wife.
Even the donkey had fresh hay.
Three from the East
traveled many hot, dusty miles
in search of a recent birth.
But when they arrived in Bethlehem,
they found the newborn Prince
in an appalling situation –
a smelly cow-stall instead of a palace.
The shocked wise men unwrapped
gold, frankincense and myrrh,
but their real gifts were
courage, acceptance, and faith.
Courage – that allowed them to set out
on a long and difficult journey
that tested their perseverance
and their hearts.
Acceptance – that helped them trust their own instincts,
and outwit the dark and dangerous Herod
searching to destroy the Child.
Faith – that freed them from their own limited logic
just enough to follow a star
to find the One
who came to bring
Ah yes, Christmas is all about gifts,
nothing but gifts.
Gifts tied with heartstrings.
Gifts that surprise and delight.
Gifts that transform.
Gifts that nurture the souls
of the giver
and the given.
Adapted from Simple Abundance by S. Ban Breathnach