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Christmas Presents

It's almost time for me to start wrapping Christmas presents. I'll get on that as soon as I get past the annual procrastination of actually finding gifts. I'm not totally behind, as I've a few tucked away already. But admittedly, my ever-evolving virtual list includes many lingering unpurchased gifts. So, wrapping day often ends up being a blur of tape and gift wrap on Christmas Eve.

Reminiscing about my modest childhood, my family always managed to make wrapping presents fun. In the days of comic strips, some of my fondest memories were reading the "funny papers" (used as gift wrap) while turning, weighing, and shaking presents in an attempt to figure out what surprises might be inside.

Our family from "the city" always wrapped the most beautiful gifts with decorative labels, curly ribbons, and big lacy bows that were always a joy to admire. Of course, it didn't matter what the boxes looked like. The size, sound, and distribution of weight in a gift was rarely indicative of
what was inside, yet every present got a sensory inspection before the paper was peeled back
for the reveal.

Like children examining gifts on Christmas morning, we often try to figure out what is within other people by their "wrappings" — their clothes, cars, neighborhoods, race, or jobs. Unfortunately, we sometimes find ourselves sticking labels on others without a thorough examination or relying on ill-conceived perceptions of how we initially felt on sight. Quite often, when we put forth the effort, what we discover comes as quite a surprise when compared to our initial review.

If you would, think about that this holiday season. It's important for us to start looking inside ourselves before judging what may be under the surface of others. Once we get beyond looking with our eyes and start seeing with our hearts, everyone we meet is seen as we should see them
— a truly beautiful gift. Let your love for other people shine first from inside you. It's that love, the light of the spirit you find reflected in others, that is sure to brighten not only this wonderful time of year, but each and every day in your life ahead.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you! God Bless.
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