Christmas is for remembrance. The love manifesting through our gifts to each other typifies the offering of Life, the givingness of Spirit to its creation. The hands of the Eternal are outstretched through our hands, and the heart of the Infinite beats in the human breast. But the giver must give of himself, for “The gift without the giver is bare”.
It is not, then, in lavish gifts that we find true giving but in the sweet simplicity of remembrance, in the kindly thought, the tolerant mind and the gentle act. Love alone can give love, sympathy alone can sympathize and only goodness can really do or be good.
The one who gives for reward does not give at all; he seeks to bargain; to trade for spiritual gifts, hence he senses loss on his own giving and finds no completion through the act. But he who gives half his meat to the hungry, feels justified and is warmed by a real sense of comradeship. He has established an actual unity between himself and other offspring of creation.
Great causes succeed when there is a giving of humanity. With the cheque must come the one who wrote it, his interest, his enthusiasm, his love. The cheque must be a symbol of his desire to impart himself—then shall it multiply its benefits and do good. Charity is cold but love is warm. When heart speaks to heart a divine conversation has taken place, a heavenly discourse.
Each of us has something to give. Let each see that he gives of his best. If we are bringing gifts to the altar of love, nothing less than the best will be acceptable, nothing less than all is enough.
May the real spirit of Christmas—the giving of self to life—enter and abide in you now and through all time.