The “Perfect” Christmas Gift
The time is growing closer and many of us are scurrying through malls and on line to find what we hope to be the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family. There was a beautiful Christmas story on line about giving the perfect Christmas gift that I’d like to share with you. Hopefully, reading it will be an inspiration for all of us at this Christmas preparation time. Here is the story:
As a child Joseph always remembers running down the steps on Christmas morning and looking around the tree for the biggest box. He falsely believed at the time that within the biggest box was the most expensive gift and the best gift. But as time works its magic on the mind and soul of a young person, he soon realized that each and every gift was meant to be special, unique and meaningful. In fact, those presents that he remembered most were the gifts that came directly from the heart, such as one of his mother’s handmade sweaters or scarves. But he continued to ask himself the question: “What is the ‘perfect’ gift?” He spent many days searching the crowded stores and scanning numerous holiday catalogs and the internet, but nothing seemed to stand out for him. As Christmas was quickly approaching he worried and wondered if he would ever find that “perfect” gift. He decided to try the mall one last time. Maybe he had missed a store, or miraculously perhaps some new merchandize had just hit the racks and shelves. As he quietly passed from one store to the next, nothing attracted his eye. Feeling somewhat exhausted and defeated, he slowly made his way to the mall exit. But before he almost reached the exit and was about to leave, he stopped short, struck by some profound thought. My goodness! He had, in all his searching time, already found that “perfect” gift and didn’t even realize it. No, this gift was not displayed in a fancy and expensive department store. It will not be wrapped in pretty Christmas paper and adorned with ribbons and bows. Actually, this gift doesn’t have a receipt and it can’t be taken back. So, where did he find this “perfect” gift and more importantly what is it? He had seen it in the eyes of an elderly couple holding hands. He heard it in the playful words between a grandfather and grandson, and he saw it in the actions of a proud mother gently cradling her newborn baby. He saw it in the man who held the door for a handicapped woman and the child who picked up a package that fell out of the arms of an elderly man struggling on a walker. Gifts money can’t buy. Truly, gifts given from the heart!
This story clearly reminds us that the “perfect” gift is right before our very eyes. It is in each and every kind and thoughtful act we can offer to another. It is the priceless gift of giving of ourselves! John Philip Newell tells us, “Do we know, each one of us, that we are bearers of the sacred beat of life? Do we know that we can honor that beat in one another? And, do we know that it is in this sacred combination of knowing that we are bearers of God’s Presence? And it is in choosing to honor God’s Presence in one another that holds the key to transformation in the world?” So, along with the beautifully wrapped presents we will give this Christmas, let us also give others the “perfect” gift in what we say and what we generously do for them. And, let us remember that honoring God’s Presence in another is not just a gift for Christmas; it is a gift we can and must give every day to our brothers and sisters!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND BLESSINGS ON THE GIFTS OF SELF THAT YOU GIVE TO OTHERS!
December 9, 2018
Sister Lauretta Leipzig