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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)

TITLE: Share Your Heart's Song
By Peg Broussard


It’s that time of year again. Somehow I seem to have missed the past eleven months – or was Christmas just yesterday? I remember Dad telling me that the older I get, the faster time goes by. I have to admit that I now understand what he was talking about. I remember Christmases when I was a child with far more clarity than I do Christmases, say, two or three years ago. Luckily I still recall last year pretty well.

In any event, here we all are, one week before Thanksgiving, listening to Christmas songs in Wal-Mart, watching Christmas commercials shouting from the television and worrying about getting our cards and gifts to the post office in a timely manner. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s an easier way to make it through the next five weeks.

Instead of scurrying around looking for the perfect gift, try this novel idea: relax and enjoy this blessed season. Give thanks to Our Lord for the many blessings that go unnoticed (or are taken for granted) each and every day. My grandmother had a saying that went something like, ‘I felt bad because I had no shoes – then I met the man who had no feet.’ There are others in this world, bearing far greater burdens than I. I’ll take it easy and be grateful for the many blessings I do have, knowing that Christmas will be just as wonderful if I don’t worry as it would be if I did.

I’m going to rejoice in the gifts of sunshine glistening on a frozen pond, diamonds glittering atop the snow in the early sunrise, the sounds of a child’s laughter drifting across the park on a chilly wind and the perfection of geese in flight as they change habitats. Here’s a quote from a song I heard years ago: ‘If I could catch a star before it touched the ground, I’d put it in a box, tie ribbons all around…’ What a lovely thought; instead of gaily wrapped presents sitting under the tree (and an empty pocketbook) wouldn’t it nice to give our loved ones a really special gift this Christmas?

My thoughts bring to mind a Christmas long ago when a young woman, heavy with child, and her husband were trudging through the night, hoping to find a place where she could rest and deliver her child. They finally did find shelter; a small stable. These humble people probably gave thanks for the gift of a place out of the cold.

Another who traveled that night was a small boy who felt he had nothing of value to offer to the infant, Jesus. He could, however, play a small drum. The boy offered the gift of himself and his music. In the drummer boy’s song, he tells us, ‘then He smiled at me – me and my drum’. The little boy was honored with the gift of Jesus’ smile.

I have to admit I get excited placing a gift for a loved one under the Christmas tree. This year I think I’ll try to find a way to wrap up some stars or some fall leaves dancing a bright and brilliant dance. Perhaps a bit of sunlight shining through the trees in the forest, the wonder of the season gleaming in a child’s eyes or any of the wonderful gifts God gives to us each and every day, throughout the year.

There is no greater joy than to give or receive a gift from someone’s heart. Something that wasn’t hurriedly purchased then wrapped. I think I’ll write thank you cards to all those on my Christmas list – I’ll say thank you for their friendship, love, devotion, laughter, and for letting me be a part of their lives. I’ll be sure to raise my voice to Our Lord, thanking Him too, for the gifts he has bestowed upon us all – the beauty of our world, the gift of certain talents we all possess, whether it is painting a picture, nurturing a child, or singing a song.

On Christmas evening you’ll be able to sit back and bask in the knowledge that Christmas this season wasn’t stressful and hectic, and you made it through just fine. Share your gifts with those you love and those you don’t, with those you know and those you don’t. Share something special -- share your song.

Me? I’m hoping He’ll smile at me – me and my drum.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Vandertogt11/23/08
This reads like an article, with tons of valuable advice. Thanks for the reminder to stop and appreciate the real gifts in the middle of a lot of artificial running around - if that makes sense. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.