Christmas is the time of gift-giving. This tradition and practice has made Christmas the magical season that it is. For many, Christmas has mainly been about the gifts. And many of the gifts are about reciprocity. But there is a richness in Christmas that is about life and having it more abundantly.
There are those who give our of their fulness. But even those who have nothing also always can give to others something. Some would appreciate a gift because of its value or usefulness to them. Others would value a gift because of the person it came from. Sometimes, we give to others what is precious or important in our eyes not realizing it is something the recipient does not need nor want.
The best gift I got this Christmas is a self-made Christmas card/letter from Jane. She gave up precious play time to make the card for me and Anabelle. It cost next to nothing and indeed it was priceless to us. Jane made and gave it to us not so much expecting something in return but because of the loving relationship she has with us. Anything given in love is priceless. it feeds and nurtures that relationship.
This morning, I realize that is the lesson of the manger and of the first Christmas. Life is not for us for the taking for it is a gift that was freely given to us, unmerited and with no expectations of reciprocation. Life is for the giving and the sharing. The child Jesus in the manger would later teach us that He has come to give us a more abundant life. And it is in giving it away that we make it more plentiful, overflowing, bountiful. Indeed, when I come to think of it, the only thing I have and the only true gift I can give away is the gift of self.