The entire day thus far has been spent in shopping for some small gifts and for the perfect wrapping paper, glittery stickers, USPS-approved strapping tape, bubble-wrap, plain brown paper for the outside of the packages and adorable little boxes festooned with appropriate Christmas decor ~ all to wrap suitably the delicious homemade fudge, both chocolate and vanilla, with which assorted cousins, aunties, in-laws and out-laws will be regaled(out-laws being those one is related, by birth or marriage, to who one may be on the outs with but still gift at Our Lord's birth because they are Family).
The practice of gift-giving at the Christmas holidays is said to be in imitation of the Three Kings who came to the stable in Bethlehem bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn King, but I like to think of it as being a form of self denial, shopping for and making for others, then making the gift beautiful, swathing it in warm colored paper & tying it up with a bow.
He Who made man also redeemed him by the utterly perfect gift on the Cross, and still does today by the resurrected love which is offered to transform each and every one of us every time we take holy communion. As we pursue the goal of conforming our lives to Christ's and His Blessed Mother's, at this time of year we get a glimmer that they are lives of perfect giving. As we hand each other material gifts this holiday season, let us remember to give ourselves also, in perfect love.
art credit: julius kronberg