For me, one of the real gifts of the Christmas season is the gift of spouse. It was on December 12, 1962, that Jun Catan and I were united in the sacrament of marriage. And we are still happily in love with each other until now, 49 years later! Isn’t that a real gift, a real miracle!!! And every Christmas season on this 12th day of December I thank God especially for the gift of a loving, God-fearing, caring, exciting, wonderful, etc. etc. etc. husband!
Every Christmas as I thank God for his gift of spouse, I like to reread about the real gifts of this special holiday as written in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance, in her Dec 10 rumination. She lists seven sets of gifts, saying that the real gifts of Christmas were wrapped in miracles. I agree because only God could have scripted how Jun and I first met, our courtship by snail mail, and our marriage; truly I believe these were miracles.
Breathnach writes that the first gift was of Spirit, the Spirit of the Unconditional Love of God for mankind. The next gift came from a Jewish teenage girl, Mary, whose Christmas present was selflessness, the complete surrender of ego and will needed to bring Heaven down to earth. The gifts of her betrothed Joseph were trust and faith.
The Infant Child brought forgiveness, wholeness, and second chances for God’s people. The angels’ gifts were tidings of comfort, joy, and peace, with the assurance that there was nothing to fear, so rejoice. The shepherd boy’s gift was generosity in giving Jesus his favorite lamb.
The Wise Men, the Magi, offered not only gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but their real gifts were wonder, acceptance, and courage. They offered wonder by surrendering logic, reason, and common sense to follow a Star. Accepting the impossible situation they found themselves in, they suspended skepticism long enough to double-cross King Herod. With courage, they made the long journey to kneel before the Christ Child, accepting Him as King even though they found him in a cave lying in a straw-filled manger.
Yes, Christmas is all about gifts. Real gifts. Miraculous gifts. Gifts tied with heartstrings of Unconditional Love. Selflessness. Trust and Faith. Forgiveness. Second Chances. Generosity. Joy. Peace. Reassurance and Rejoicing. Wonder. Courage. And, I hasten to add, the gift of a loving, God-fearing spouse.
These miraculous gifts are not to be found in malls or on the internet. We cannot order them by phone and have them delivered to our doorstep. We must open our hearts not only to receive such real gifts gratefully and enjoy them, but also in the spirit of Christmas, share what we have and give truly real gifts, gifts of little miracles, to family, friends, and even to casual acquaintances. Never forget that many times God works his miracles through us. Awesome thought, isn’t it!