It’s often been said, and it bears repeating, that the true meaning of Christmas is often lost in all the holiday shopping. It also bears repeating, though, that the good things in our lives we often take for granted. So it is with the tradition of Christmas gifts.
Really, the only way to appreciate something is to imagine something different. Imagine, for a moment, that the God of Abraham and Jesus did not exist. Suppose, rather, that the universe was ruled by Moloch. I don’t say, to use the philosophers’ lingo, that this is a possible world, but it is certainly an imaginable world, since many men in times past believed it. For an especially solemn occasion such as Christmas is for us, Moloch might demand sacrifices. Each year we would offer a number of our children to be murdered by his pitiless priests.
Now return to the real world. The universe is ruled by Christ’s Father. And the thing that pleases the real God, on the celebration of the Incarnation of His Son, is that we should go out and buy presents for our children, for we know that He holds a special affection for these little ones. How can we not be grateful that God is as He is? Especially on Christmas, when, remembering His ultimate gift, his generosity is brought so vividly to our minds? Gloria in Excelsis Deo!