Della, of the beautiful hair, wanted to give her husband a gift to express her unconditional love for him. Her husband, Jim, whose only possession was a magnificent gold pocket watch from his grandfather, wanted the same thing for her.
So the stage is set for the wonderful short story, "The Gift of the Magi," by O. Henry.
(In the story, Della sells her long, beautiful hair to buy Jim a chain for his watch, while Jim sells his watch to buy her an exquisite set of combs.)
It describes a memorable Christmas of magic and wonder, filled with extravagant love and surprising joy set in an otherwise dreary and hopeless world.
In our current recession, with friends and family losing jobs and homes, with money running out and Christmas expectations always high, we need a deeper, more "grown-up" understanding of Christmas.
For hundreds of years the more traditional/liturgical churches have celebrated "Advent" as a time of waiting in anticipation and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ.
The Twelve Days of Christmas were the great feast time of celebration from Christmas day to Epiphany day (Jan. 6).
Society now moves by a different schedule. For 99.5% of us, we start planning Christmas in October and November, (...sometimes September or earlier!).
By Thanksgiving our plans are set and we begin parties, gift shopping, TV shows, Christmas shows and activities and Family get to gethers.
On Dec. 26, we pack up the decorations and move on to thinking about New Year's activities, year-end sales and a little vacation time, putting all the Christmas thoughts behind us.
The traditional quiet and reflective Advent (the four weeks before Christ eve), is overwhelmed by all the flurry of Christmas. By the time Advent gets to Christmas, there's only one day left, Dec. 24, to tell the story of the birth of Jesus.
To counteract that, we need to recognize that by Thanksgiving, people have their Christmas plans pretty well set and are ready to do things in the "Christmas spirit."
So we need to talk about Christmas - the birth of Jesus and it's profound meaning to us, starting in late in November, even starting now!
shopped for the perfect gown.You've asked your friends about the best florist.
arranged the most elegant wedding and reception.You've researched the most romantic honeymoon you can
have you read the book you've written on Marriage?
couples bring two separate books to a marriage.Each one of you has a book inside your hearts filled
with expectations.It' will guide
you on how to live in love for the rest of your life.
lived together, you may have already have shared some chapters with each
other.But the wedding changes
everything.Now, in addition to
being a lover and friend, you are husband, wife.
"Heart book" on marriage comes from the family you grew up in.Experts call this your "family of
filled with the memories and thoughts about the people who raised you.…the ones who nursed you when you were
sick…who praised you or scolded
you,…who shaped your values.
from them that you learned how to be a husband, a wife.They taught you about family before you
could even talk.
Has the economic meltdown changed your Christmas plans?Join the crowd!Most of us are coping with less money, scaled back parties and less travel.For some, its a heart wrenching process.Christmas is usually about parties and the giving and getting of presents that when we can't it just doesn't seem like Christmas.
When Christmas dreams meet the hard reality of lost jobs and reduced earnings, it's as if the Grinch has jumped off the TV screen and into our homes.
For others, it's an opportunity to talk about the deeper meaning of Christmas and to rediscover the values of family and friends connecting over a meal and mid-winter activities.
And for an increasing number of people, it's a call to action to find a way to really honor someone's birthday who has been unbelievably generous to us all.
The "Christ" in Christmas is of course Jesus Christ.He's God's gift to us that brings not just love, joy and peace, but also forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation, healing, strength and hope… gifts that every one and every family need more than ever.