Columnists around the world will focus on Christmas today as they write. They will probably try to find something unique to say about family, friends, the spirit of the season, Jesus’ birthday.
I want to talk about what Christmas is really all about — presents.
Wait, did she say presents?
Yes, I did.
However, I’m probably not going to talk about what you might think. Christmas isn’t all about getting presents. It’s not about spending money. It’s not about wrapping presents. However, Christmas has turned into being all about giving presents.
Stores are packed with people buying items to give away from November through December. Streets in cities are backed up for miles as people try to rush to stores. People are honking as someone tries to cut in the back-up. People are pushing to grab the last Pillow Pet on the shelf. People are yelling at others who try to cut into the store line.
Somewhere we lost the true meaning of giving gifts.
When Jesus was a baby, the three magi traveled miles and months to bring him elaborate gifts. They didn’t worry about the cost or the trek. They just wanted to give him what he deserved.
Giving gifts is an important part of Christmas today. It is a time when we sacrifice a little of our time and money to give a loved one a memento of how much we care about them. Gifts are more than just a beautifully wrapped sweater or toy; they are a symbol of how much we care.
It doesn’t matter if the gifts you give are homemade, store-bought, inexpensive, expensive, wearable or edible. Gifts should just be from the heart. Even if it cost nothing at all, everyone should have something underneath the tree.
So I hope that whatever you have under the tree today that it was not bought out of haste or carelessness, but that it was hand-selected with careful thought and love. I hope that whatever you receive is a token of the love that others have for you.
When you look at whatever was under the wrapping with your name on it, cherish it. Look at it not as a gift but instead as a token of love, an icon of appreciation.
So Merry Christmas, and may your life be filled with love today.
And as important as presents are, there is one thing that is even more important this holiday — Jesus is the real reason for the season.