For children the celebration of Christmas often revolves around presents under the lights of the tree. Those brightly wrapped boxes hold the wonderful mystery of Christmas. Will they find deep inside the box the toy they have stayed awake at night dreaming about?
Many have traced the tradition of giving Christmas presents back to the Wise Men who brought to the newborn King gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This traditional is alive and well in North America where the fate of retailers rests on the excessive spending of shoppers during this season. Christmas has come a long way from an infant King sleeping wrapped in blankets in a stable.
In 1957 Dr. Seuss released his latest children’s book entitled How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Not since Charles Dickens’ Scrooge had there been a Christmas character as dark and mean spirited as the Grinch, who swept into Whoville in the dark of the night and stole all the Christmas presents. To his amazement on Christmas morn he heard the sounds of Christmas below in the village.
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
The ol’ Grinch that fateful day discovered the mysterious secret of Christmas. You cannot buy it in a store, or receive it wrapped in bright paper with a big bow. No Christmas happens in the heart.
The first Christmas gift was not gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The first Christmas gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. It was God himself taking on flesh and blood and giving Himself to us. The secret of giving the best Christmas present of all is not where you shop or what you buy. The secret is giving yourself to those you love just like Jesus!
This Christmas love others like Jesus loved you and discover the true meaning of Christmas deep in your heart.