I remember my first Christmas. Well, I would like to share with you one of my earliest memories of the Season that delights my heart and makes my soul tingle with joy and hope.
There I was, a little boy, oblivious to the world as it is; still young enough to be surprised by the twists and turns of life. The city pigeons were funny and odd and they could fly. Trees were as magical as they were bare one moment and blossoming with flowers and leaves the next. Bugs would light up the night. The World was a gift of delights – sunrise, sunset, stars and thunder and lightning. Everything was alive, robust, strange and delightful no matter how scary it might seem at any given moment.
Even when I was sick, I was loved with medicine, warm soup, ice cream and that soft, big pillow not to mention a bear named “Theodore”. The air of great expectation saturated every moment of every day.
Of all the things, I remember, I remember that Christmas of old when I discovered the most important thing about life and living and love. That Christmas, long ago, the boxes were piled high and beautifully wrapped. I was delighted by my first conscious Christmas and all those beautiful boxes. How strange I thought. What do beautiful boxes have to do with Christmas? Then on that magical day, as I was looking at the boxes nestled under the tree, my Mom said, “Aren’t you going to open your gifts?” I looked at her with amazement and surprise. “Open?” “Yes,” she said. “Your gifts want to meet you!” That was the moment I learned to open the box to behold the gift. The Feast had little to do with the box. It had to do with the gift. Over the years, I would discover that the greatest gifts do not come in boxes. Each and every one of us is a gift. We do not only “have” gifts, we “are” gifts. Never be ashamed or hesitant to give the gift of you. Open the gift that is you once again this year as you continue to bless the World around you with the gift that is within you–your heart.
Remember especially the children of our World as you honor that Child of old. Manger everyone in the care, love, and respect of your heart.
So now I pledge anew to unwrap my heart and open the gift of myself. Bless you for all the times you opened the beautifully wrapped gift of your heart.
Peacefully as always,