The gift

Christmas for many is comfortable and sweet, a time to enjoy the fun and traditions year after year. Then things change. Loved ones pass away, families and friends rearrange their lives. Family homes are sold; children move out. Or maybe we feel we've "done" enough Christmases and wonder whether we might deserve to be a bit selfish, curl up with a good book, and just hide away until the holidays are over!

Christmas for many others is different; there are no choices and no celebrations. Just another day with a crust of bread or a scrap of food or maybe nothing. No toys, no color, no light. No hope anywhere to make one day different from another.

We might ask what the common denominator is for these opposite ends of materiality—the haves and have-nots—that could turn lives around and make them worthwhile and satisfying. Might the answer come: all that needs to be done is for us to have a better idea of the Christmas we're celebrating and to move our prayer out to embrace the world instead of staying within our own known and personal boundaries. Maybe doing something new, like giving a gift without wrappings—giving a prayer.

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Celebrating the angel messages that heal
December 23, 1996

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