Every Christmas Eve, we would lie under the Christmas tree, listening intently to my father. He would get down next to us and gaze up at the lights on the tree, capped off by the bright star at the top.
That is when the magic happened. He would start telling us stories, Christmas stories. One of his favorites was O. Henry’s The gift of the Magi. The true meaning of Christmas couldn’t have been outlined any better. As he lay there with us, quietly recounting the love this struggling young couple had for one another, all five of us were silent. We could feel the spirit of Christmas as he continued telling us that each had sacrificed their favorite possession for the other, the young bride, her hair, and he, his priceless pocket watch, in order to buy the other’s gift. My father would recount that on Christmas morning, he saw that she had sold her hair to buy him a chain for his watch, and he had sold his watch to buy a beautiful comb for her hair. There they sat, each having a seemingly useless gift. I can still remember clearly him emphasizing, even if not verbally, that they had given the most precious gift that can be given, and that gift was love.
I have often reflected on those times under the Christmas tree and the lessons that were taught. There we were, five young children, quiet as could be, and each of us understood and felt what Christmas was all about. And that was love.
Today’s post is contributed by Seeing the Everyday magazine. For more information, go toseeingtheeveryday.com