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How many Christmases have come and gone and all you can remember were the presents under the tree which couldnít be opened until Christmas morning? Often times you would look at them longingly while still stuffed to the gills with the Christmas dinner you have just devoured. How many times have you inspected each one of them even trying to shake them near your ear or smelling them for a telltale clue of what is inside the package.

In the first century, offering presents or gifts is bestowing the highest honour to the person. That was the reason the three wise men brought incense, gold and myrrh across deserts, following the star, just to offer them to the king of kings. They came to glorify or edify and gave their gifts to the infant Jesus with love and gratitude and excitement that their king has finally been born to reign.

Following tradition and in memory of the first Christmas, we give an offering of what represents our love, devotion and high regard to the recipient. We also give presents to children especially, as they represent the child Jesus and in the premise that Christmas is about new born babes and innocence and a world pure and full of hope. The Christmas present itself has become symbolic of the first Christmas offering of the wise men, the receiver symbolizes Jesus the infant and the giver symbolizes the wise menís pure hearts.
In the modern world where everything is commercialized, giving Christmas presents has become a tradition that man faces every Christmas. What to give to whom, what the price range is, a list of people expecting gifts who may not be at all surprised nor appreciative should they receive one. The Christmas present has been commoditized and not given solely because one wants to, but more because it is expected of one.

If we look closely at what Christmas present giving had become, we will realize that one vital thing missing is what the wise men invested in during the first Christmas. It is the need to give part of one self with the gift being given. The real essence of the Christmas present is the heart behind that which is being offered. The moving force of a Christmas present should be the need to encase our being into what we feel will gladden the receiver, making the gift itself actually a part of us.

When we say it is the thought that counts, we really mean it is the heart, the esteem, the love, the mind that come with the gift. In our heart, we want the receiver to be happy with our gift, not because it is a gift, but more because the gift came from us. As with the first Christmas, the wise men, offered not merely gifts but hearts of kindness and compassion. We are offered with our Christmas present; we are there with our Christmas present. Our presence goes with our Christmas present.

Perhaps that is why it is called Present.

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