All I Want For Christmas Is…?


As we approach the celebration of our Savior’s birth, we need to keep in mind the true reason for it’s celebration. We give gifts and presents because the wise men gave such when they visited the small child, Jesus. They did so to honor and respect him and to show their belief in his divine birth. They brought expensive gifts. I assume they could afford to do so. Most often we don’t have such wealth. Alas, the advertisers of man have convinced us that if we don’t have the ability to give expensive gifts, we should borrow to do so. It is an easy trap to fall into. I have done so often. Perhaps that is why I am moved when I hear the Christmas song ” The Little Drummer Boy.”  Here is a boy with nothing of real value to offer, yet he can play his drum. Most touching to me is that at the conclusion of his drum playing, he relates that the baby Jesus “smiled at me;”  an acknowledgement that the poor boy’s gift is acceptable.  I have always been able to imagine how that made the drummer boy feel. Perhaps, it is because I too have felt small in what I give to the Lord.  I know it’s just a made up song. I know there was no “drummer boy” at the Manger. But what I do know is that the moral of the story resonates with my soul.  I believe the Savior accepts from each of us what we are able to give, small or large.

I spoke with a woman a few years back.  I asked her if she was ready for Christmas. She said “We really don’t celebrate Christmas”. I was taken back, because I know she is a Christian. Then she said, “I buy my kids and grandchildren gifts throughout the year. The stress involved in doing so at this time of year takes the joy out of the season. Several years ago we decided to just get together as a family, have dinner and enjoy the day in each other’s company.” At first I was taken back. But as I reflected on her statement I believe there was much wisdom in her words. Perhaps we stress ourselves out in quest for the perfect gifts and lose the real joy that should come from celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Maybe we should remember that the best things in life are free. I know that the best gifts I have received over the years was not something from Macy’s, or Best Buy, or any other store. It was hearing the cries of my children as they came into this world. More recently,  it has been the cries of grandbabies being born.  The melody of crying newborn babes trumps the Tabernacle Choir any day!
So, perhaps this Christmas we should slow down and remember what the season is all about. It’s the gift of earthly life, and the gift of eternal life that is made possible by our Savior which we celebrate. His birth stands of as a symbol of all that we were; all that we are; and all we will ever become.

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