Today (or yesterday, depending on how you see it) marks the end of the Christmas season. By now we have received every imaginable gift, from a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming. Not literally, of course, but if you count up every token of affection, gratitude, or umm… obligation you have accepted since Thanksgiving, chances are, they add up to at least as many items.
This day is also called Epiphany, the observation of the Wise Men’s visit to the Christ Child. Their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh honored the baby king and foretold his life and death.
History and folklore give us many other examples of gift givers such as Santa with toys for good children. One of my favorite gift bringers is the little drummer boy with his gift of music. Music is a one-size-fits-all sort of gift with no need for returns, but mostly I love that the little drummer boy found a way to give when he had nothing tangible to offer. Another favorite is Amahl from the opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors. When he had no gift to give the Christ Child, Amahl gave his crutch and was healed in return. This story points out a universal truth. When we give, we always get something in return.
During this new year, there will be many opportunities for each of us to give. Sometimes we will give gifts to celebrate special occasions. We may donate money or supplies for those who have little or to further a cause. Hopefully we will “lend an ear” or a “shoulder to cry on” to a troubled friend. Some of us will give our time, talents, and hard work to make the world a better place. I can’t wait to get started! How about you?
May all your acts of giving bring you ultimate joy in the new year!
P.S. It has been delightful to share these seasons of Advent and Christmas with my dear readers! To those of you who purchased a copy of Waiting for Jesus, commented, “liked,” or offered other support and encouragement, please know that I am filled with gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you!