On my walk yesterday around Canterbury I came across many people with their bags full of shopping going home. Some bags were bulging with rolls of Christmas wrapping paper and presents bought for family and friends.
I still remember that when I was quite young, I bought my mum a cheap plastic silver-coasted vase for Christmas. My mum was a very down to earth, practical Irish woman and her reaction to receiving the gift was quite dismissive. I can’t remember her exact words, but it was along the line. “Why did you waste your money on this”. Many of us try to express our love for another in giving gifts. Some people go over the top. The gift-giving is a way of saying thank you, you are in my thought and prayers.
Fenwick’s the department store in town here have written on all their Christmas windows the words, “Give Joy, Give Love, Give Time.” In the end it is the giving of self that matters.
The last verse of one of my favourite carols, “In the Bleak midwinter” is
What can I give him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give him – give my heart.
We are preparing to celebrate God’s most wonderful gift to us, Jesus. The best we can do is to give ourselves.
Lord, here I am, I have no present expensive enough, unique enough to express my joy , my thanks and love for what you have given me. Give me the grace this Christmas to offer you my heart, to give you my very self.