Friday, December 25, 2009

No gift to bring

Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. 
Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more." 

 Dr. Seuss

She remembered the story of the Drummer Boy. She had read it to her children many times. Now played out. No gift to bring.
Twenty-two years as a parent at Christmas time, this was a first. The first time she didn't overspend, stress out, and wrap gifts for her children. Strange. Odd. 
Now, before you classify her as The Grinch, let me attempt to explain. 
Money was tight. There was no extra. At all. Money to buy food and pay bills was about it. 
Living on one income...within their means. 
At first, she fretted. Even cried, (yes, she did) that there wasn't money to spend on Christmas for her kids. Embarassed. Depressed. Yes. 
She got up the courage to sit down with the children and told them how things are. Difficult. Heart wrenching.  
Tough times. 

They were amazing. Understanding. Accepting. Encouraging. 

Eva Marie Everson writes , "Most of us have been in this place at one time or another. Sometimes its when we are young and in college or just beginning our adult lives on our own. Other times we’re older and have had a stroke of bad luck. Either way, the season comes upon us and we have “no gift to bring.” The skirt under our Charlie Brown Christmas tree is exposed without a single gift resting upon it. It is at this time that we may be reminded of the poor child in the beloved Christmas tune, 'Little Drummer Boy.' Like him — like the baby Jesus and like his parents, Mary and Joseph — we are flat broke....Our tradition of gift exchange began with the gifts the Magi brought to Jesus after His birth. Because of the monetary value, we’ve somehow transferred this sacrifice on their part and have created a new kind of sacrifice. We stress ourselves out by trying to out-give and, in the process, we over-charge and over-spend. In the end, most of our gifts end up looking more like “any other dove” in the temple.But what if we were to give ourselves? Our time. Our talents. What if we were to give them to each other?What if we were to give them to God?"

What if?


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