The Origin of Christmas Gifts
On the last day before Christmas, millions of people are scurrying about looking for that last minute bargain, that one gift they need to get for their children, spouse or other loved ones that they just couldn’t manage to find in the weeks before Christmas…
I seriously wonder how many people know why they get gifts in the first place. Yes, it has been tradition to get Christmas gifts for as long as I can remember, and as long as probably the oldest amongst us can remember. But, there is a reason why gifts became a part of the Christmas tradition…
When going to see royalty, it was customary to bring a gift in order to be received. Ancient customs dictated such a practice, in a time where, if the king was not in a particularly good mood, could quite deliberately have someone beheaded for entering his presence without being invited. The gift was the means by which favor seekers or anyone requesting an audience with the king would be granted their request.
Gifts were also a way of showing honor and respect. If one did not personally know royalty, or even if they had heard about a king or queen by word of mouth, bringing a gift, or sending one by way of an emissary, was the customary way in which proper respect was shown.
So, what has this got to do with Christmas? The birth of Jesus was no ordinary birth, aside from the nature of his conception. Both his mother, Mary, and his stepfather, Joseph, were direct descendants of King David, the second king of Israel . Thus, Jesus was royalty. The three wise men who came from afar knew this, somehow, and they came with their gifts, accordingly.
The nature of the gifts was most interesting. Each of the wise men brought one gift apiece. One brought gold, frankincense came from another, and myrrh from the third. It wasn’t the number of the gifts that was so important ( a lesson that many people need to learn, IMHO, but I digress), but the significance of the gifts…gold for a king made sense, and so did the frankincense, but myrrh? If anyone knew what myrrh was for, it would be considered a strange gift to give to a newborn child…but for the fact that this child was born, only to give his life for the sins of the world…
So, we give gifts to others today, as gifts were given to Jesus after he was born, but do we give gifts that mean anything? Are they given with intent and purpose? Do they have any other significance than that they were given this year, and then we repeat the cycle again next year ? Just some things to ponder as we wrap up this year.
To all of my ActiveRain friends, Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all!
Courtesy of William James Walton, Sr. , Realtor, WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group
Serving northern New Haven and southeastern Litchfield Counties (Waterbury, Wolcott, Prospect, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Southbury, Watertown, Thomaston and Plymouth)
Call William James Walton, Sr. Real Estate Agent with WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group (203) 558-7463 for help with your real estate needs -buying or selling - in Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Middlebury, Southbury, Prospect, Naugatuck, Plymouth and Thomaston