Today is December the 4th. Last night I set these two on a little table in my apartment. This morning as I was finishing up my exercises I looked at them.
Both are promenade parts of the Christmas season. Both hold a great deal of significance and import to a vast group of people the world over.
The first, of course is the Nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, the star and the baby Christ beautifully displayed. It is the first Christmas and is revered by the whole Christian world.
The second is St. Nicholas, more commonly known as Santa Claus. Some argue that his character distracts from the true meaning of Christmas. Many refuse to teach their children about him for this and other reasons. I, however, disagree.
This morning as I gazed upon the two figurines I noticed something I had unintentionally done. If you look closely, you will see the eyes of St. Nicholas looking toward the humble group beneath the blessed star. He seems as if he wishes to bring gifts to the Christ Child. And there in lies the true meaning of Christmas.
It is no sin to get a gift for one you love, but we shouldn’t forget the meaning of the gift. Yes, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, for He was God’s gift to us.
When I was a child, Christmas was an exciting time. I was anxious to see what I would ‘get’ for Christmas. As I entered my teen years and started to give gifts to others, the excitement passed to what I would be ‘giving’ for Christmas. There usually was one present I looked forward to giving each year because I had worked hard to find or make it. I was anxious to see the expression on the person’s face when they opened the gift I’d given to them. That is my favorite part of Christmas.
There is a picture with a coupling story of the dear Santa Claus kneeling before the Baby Jesus. He prays that the children of the world will do as he has done. He traveled the world, giving freely. Let us do the same.
As you prepare for the 25th, try to put real meaning in your gifts. Not just what someone wants or needs, but give from your heart the best gift. If that is your time then do not hesitate to spend every moment possible. If it is an object that you will wrap and place under a tree then let it be filled with your love, because in doing so you will both be happy.
The Savior came to give us happiness. He wrapped it in swaddling cloth and sealed it with His blood. Remember the Spirit of Christmas and give it to others.