Written by MARIA LUISA B. RECILLO
CHRISTMAS, more traditionally than historically, is believed to be the season for celebrating the birth of JESUS CHRIST, the second Persona in the Holy Trinity, who humbled himself to become a man, led an ordinary life, and died on the cross to save mankind from eternal damnation. He resurrected on the third day and ascended into Heaven to prepare a place for mankind that he has saved. Thus, He lived to die a human death, but He had to die to live His divinity. And this is the gift of Christmas to mankind: that JESUS died so that man may live.
And people should do no less. Every Christmastime, ordinary Christians go out of their way and spend time, money, and effort thinking, planning, and purchasing the most expensive gifts that the commercial world has to offer thinking these gifts will make their loved ones happy. However, no material thing will really make a person happy - better still, joyful - during this season for all material gifts do not last. One may be ecstatic to receive a gift of his or her dream, but the happiness one feels at the time of receiving the gift does not last for a long time. Eventually, the gift wears down, gets old, and becomes useless. Nothing physical lasts. The best gift for Christmas is one that endures, cannot be bought, and becomes a source of lasting joy - the gift of ONESELF.
When one gives of himself, he gives not only his physical body but all that he has - his time, effort, love, mind, heart, and soul. He dies to himself - what he likes to do, needs to do, wants to do - so that the ones for whom he surrenders his own physical happiness live to have a joyful celebration of the season. One's presence - not physical but spiritual, for joy emanates from the heart where the spirit lives - fills the emptiness that the human body feels that no material gift could ever satisfy.
What matters most now is that the giver is also the gift - the best ever at CHRIST-mas!!!