Tag Archives: Gift

Christmas Giving is Jesus

This Christmas it is time to realize the true meaning behind this festival of new life.  It goes beyond giving and really starts with believing  when Jesus was born God gave himself to us ., because He humbled himself by becoming a man.  His deep love and humility was so profound that he was not born in a palace but in a very humble setting;  for,  he was actually homeless.

Taking on our humanity he helps us understand how much he understands us as human beings.  This is why he gave his understanding about us because he wants us to understand that he understands us.  Jesus’ humble birth is a gift., because,  he accepts everyone regardless of class or wealth.  He does not belong to any prestigious social club, to a VIP church organization giving huge amounts of tithing,  or to a fraternal order  achieving scholarly recognition, but he is the recognizable God who is full of spiritual recognition, spiritual wealth, and spiritual wisdom.

Another gift of Jesus’ birth is the fact that he can be found if you seek him.  The stoic pursuit of the Magi who came all the way from the East in search of him is a gift of persistence in seeking Christ.  They discerned that his birth was a great event.   These men had the gift of wisdom and studied nature including the configuration of the stars.  God reveals signs through nature as long as nature itself is not worshipped.  Nature is God’s creation.  Like the early Christians, modern day Christians seek Jesus through prayer and reading scripture.  Finding God starts within oneself.

Jesus had to be hidden by his parents and fled from his birthplace because of King Herod’s decree to kill all of the male children who were two years old and under.  God shows his love by having to survive an extreme danger and also having Mary and Joseph survive the fact that they could have been killed.  Many people go through dangerous situations, but God teaches them how to overcome these situations.  He commands the angels who are a gift to us to watch over us.  He  gives us wisdom about handling our problems.  God himself is present when he intervenes, because he always knows what is going on.  He wants us to accept his gift of knowing him.

Christmas is more than giving and receiving presents.  There is more than the physical.  Recognizing the spiritual is a great gift.  If you seek it , it will be revealed to you.  One way this  happens is to humble yourself enough to see the face of God in  baby Jesus who physically came into the world, was born in a humble manger, and gave the gift of himself.

 

Gift Giving Simply For Christmas

ChristmasTree

The gift giving  season of Christmas and other holidays has started and everyone is shopping  for the perfect gift and waiting to hopefully receive  their perfect gift in return.    One of my fondest memories of childhood  occurred when I was ready to start school for the first time, and my grandmother made something very special for me.  It was not expensive looking by today’s standards, but for a young child starting kindergarten,  it was awesome.

A simple but beautiful white book bag hand sewn with my name embroidered in red, “Jeannie.”   My grandmother always called me by my middle name, but she pronounce it Gina.  If only my grandmother  knew she had not only provided  a great gift, but she also provided a blessing.  I still remember her goodness and these wonderful treasures of her being my grandmother and of her gift.

Her present to me was so  inspirational it sparked a life long  interest in learning.   When I set eyes on my first school bag my excitement about attending school spiraled even further.   I wondered about what kind of books  the teacher would give out  so that I could put them into this bag.  I was holding the most expensive bag in the world.    I could not wait to get some paper and writing instruments because these items were necessary tools  which every student must have, and I liked writing and drawing instruments.  This was to prove prolific because I am an artist and a writer.  I knew I wanted to do this since I was four years old.  

Sometimes I would sit at my grandparent‘s pristine dining room table with white laced table-cloth and practice drawing lines and making doodles.   I remember my grandparents watching me.  When my grandfather would lay his pencil down, I would take it and start drawing with it, but when  he realized he no longer had it,  he went looking for it.  I was the one who took it, and I did not always want to give it back.    When my other relatives explained to me that my grandfather really needed his very small pencil, I kind of understood.  My grandmother, uncle, or aunt would replace his pencil with  another pencil, and I was appreciative. 

I had this urgency to craft, draw or practice writing.   My grandfather learned to guard his small yellow pencil with pink eraser, and he remembered not to leave it on the table and walk away.    It fit perfectly into his shirt pocket.  I finally got the message that no one should take his pencil. It was only  later on that I learn to  appreciate why he treasured this pencil. He was not being selfish. 

Whatever this book bag contained and anything in it became even more special.  It was a special present  because  my grandmother made it  with love.  Her excitement for my education and her enthusiastic nature inspired me to look forward to a great learning experience.    My mother was also happy and proud of me.  

Holding it in my hand,  I examined it most thoroughly.   It was white with  red embroidery.  Simple hand stitching,   and the most wonderful thing was I could see my name on it.  I thought how smart my grandmother was because of her talent for sewing.  Later on I acquired this skill and watch both my grandmother and mother designed and mend clothing.  My mother was a professional seamstress.

When you look at school bags today, they come in all sorts of designs  made of heavy plastic or canvas,.  They are so non-personal in contrast to my school bag made with love.   You can’t buy love.   Love  is not plastic.  Over the years  I tried to hold on to this bag for as long as I could, but eventually it moved on with grace.  I may no longer have the  school bag, but its meaning and its message  are in my heart forever. 

It takes a special person to give you something that no one else can give you. If you accept it with a child like attitude and a humble spirit  you will see its true value.  Adults rarely see value in inexpensive items, because they look at monetary value.  They only buy presents for people they know will  buy them a present.  Sometimes expensive gifts are okay, but don’t forget to understand the real value of the gift and why it is being given.  Learn to appreciate the true value of small things, because it is the thought behind the gift that really counts.  

I am thankful for  my grandmother’s wonderful hand-made gift which set me on my  path to education.   She is with God, but her hand sewn bag contained a gift of wisdom for me.    Remember when you celebrate the holidays to bless the giver,  be appreciative of small things, and be thankful for every gift even if it has little value.