Essence of gift giving

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago - Visaya - The Freeman

I have been receiving gifts throughout the past few weeks from friends, former colleagues, and organizations I have worked for. I am grateful for their generous and kind act. Even more pleasantly surprising is the fact that, although I have not heard from some of them in a while, when Christmas rolls around they still make time to bring treats or anything else that would help me remember that it is, after all, a season for sharing and remembering. But is it not this the season that truly celebrates giving gifts? What meaning does this season have for individuals who have less in life?

For many, Christmas signifies different things. Giving gifts, preparing meals, decorating trees, cleaning the house, attending events, sending out Christmas cards --the list goes on. While there is nothing wrong with carrying out these Christmas customs, Christians understand that the real reason for the season began more than 2,000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem.

To commemorate the gifts that the Wise Men gave Jesus, we customarily give and receive gifts throughout the Christmas season. We commemorate Jesus Christ's birth at Christmas. He was God's gift to us, which is why we celebrate his birth.

We have to set aside time around Christmas to reflect on things everlasting. That is, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we are visitors on the earth and that paradise is where we truly belong. And that we will all eventually pass away, regardless of how long we live.

We give presents because God is the giver of gifts. The true message of Christmas is that giving is truly better than receiving.

God showed us this on the very first Christmas by bestowing upon us the greatest gift that humanity has ever known. And Jesus keeps proving it by giving to us on a daily basis --not because of what we deserve, but because of the abundance of his kindness and mercy.

There is no flashy wrapping paper on the most important Christmas gift. There is no bow included. It is a newborn baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and born in a manger, representing God's love for all people.

Although a lot of people have been shopping for gifts online or in malls during the past month in an attempt to keep up with the season's growing commercialization, most of us understand that, when observed in the right spirit, Christmas is really more about faith and family than it is about gifts.

The Holy Spirit will be present in a gift that included socks, a book, or AirPods Pro when you opened it. It will serve as a reminder to you as you accept the present that Jesus is a bigger gift than AirPods Pro. We were given this amazing present.

We are reminded of how God sent his son into the world as a gift for us when we offer gifts and see recipients of the things we have given so we might be sent into the world at some point to serve as a blessing to others. We give presents because God has given us gifts as well. I hope that this Christmas and the gifts we give should be much more than just what fits in the bags. May the spirit of God overflow it.

Malipayong pasko ug mabungahong bag-ong tuig kanatong tanan!

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