Faces on Faith: The gift of love
Christmas is a time of giving. In various countries around the world, children wait expectantly for their version of Santa Claus to surprise them with gifts.
In Hungary, children put their boots on the windowsill for treats. In Germany, children set out their shoes for St. Nicholas to bring gifts.
In France, shoes are set by the fireplace for surprises. In Switzerland, Christkind (literally Christ Child) is believed to bring the children gifts, while in some parts of Germany, Christkindl, a sprite-like Jesus is believed to be invisible, but rings a bell when he departs so children know he has come.
Whether we call the giver St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Cinder Klas, Kris Kringle, Grandfather Frost, or Santa Claus, some form of gift giving exists in nearly every culture in the world.
In America, shoppers begin as early as “Black Friday”, standing in line for hours in hopes of getting the “must have” item for children or grandchildren.
This frantic search may leave families severely stressed economically and spiritually. So what is this giving really all about?
Placido Domingo wrote a lovely song which he often sings this time of year entitled: “The Gift of Love”. It reads:
The Father gave his Son
To fill the world with glory,
He sent His only one,
To bring us peace.
Shepherds on the hill
Were startled by the angels,
The earth around them stilled
At news of joy.
Praise the son of God
And thank his Father,
His Gift of Love fulfilled his light
For all to see.
Glory to God,
Praise Him forever,
Share his goodness
For all who wait in hope,
Glory to God
Praise the child who came to save the world,
He’s our Gift from God our Lord
It’s this unique gift of the Christ child, born in Bethlehem in a manger, the Christian world celebrates.
This “gift of love” far surpasses all the material gifts we could ever accumulate.
Christian Science, which is infinitely Christian, shares this joy in these words from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “The birth of the Christ child which we celebrate on Christmas, can fill us all with a radiant joy that signifies peace.”
-June Sieber, Sanibel Christian Science Church