Adoration of the Shepherds by Giorgione, c.1510 via Wikimedia Commons
O Blessed One,
it is said that Christmas is for children.
Indeed, I agree:
it’s only a feast for the young at heart,
a feast for finding beneath the tree
gifts to surprise and delight the eternal child.
Peel back the scabs of cynicism from my eyes
so that this calloused and aging child
may see holiness blazing at the tip of every branch,
may see every tree as a Christmas tree.
Let me not be ashamed to dance with delight
at hidden gifts wrapped in shimmering paper
with bows of rainbow-colored ribbon.
But also grant me the youthful and wide-eyed wonder
to recognize, even to expect,
life-giving miracles on every street corner,
miracles of kindness and generosity and care.
Gift my all-too-calculating heart
with the excitement of anticipation
to truly receive the gifts of life,
the capacity to feast and rejoice.
Give birth within me to a spaciousness of heart
that can celebrate this feast
of the birth of Christ, the Child.
Edward Hays, Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of Kansas City
all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.