~ The Christmas Rose ~
She stood beside the doorway softly weeping,
without the slightest gift for the newly born
who lay within a manger, peaceful, sleeping.
Three travelers, all richly dressed, but worn,
brought royal treasures for him in their keeping ~
the shepherd maiden wept unseen, forlorn.
In the chill of winter, she had found no rose
nor blossom; ‘midst the rocky hills none grows.
An angel saw her sorrow; understanding
at once the reason, swept away the snow,
revealing there some Christmas Roses. Handing
these white and waxen flowers to her, “Go –
an offering so pure is right,” commanding
with gentleness that only angels know.
The gift was made – beneath the angel’s wink,
the petals blushed from white to palest pink.
© Margaret I. Gibson
Some of the best memories I have of past Christmas holidays were when I let go of expectations and just let it happen.
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve felt that Christmas was meant for all people of good will. It never dawned on me that Christmas would belong to just one religion. I knew it was the birth of Jesus ~ the tiny infant who was born in a humble stable ~ who came to love the world and the message he brought to us was to love one another.
My early memories of Christmas were more of the feeling of togetherness, belonging and acceptance. There was a feeling of magic in the air. There weren’t many gifts under the tree ~ yet it was my favorite time of the year. There was something infectious about the outpouring of Good Will as you went about the day meeting people along the way.
When my children were growing up it was fun taking on the passing along of this tradition. Seeing their eyes brighten with anticipation as the day grew nearer, and gathering them around the Nativity Scene to impress upon them that it was this humble birth we were celebrating.
Then there were the times when I was weary and burdened with worries and stresses. When I didn’t have enough money to get them gifts or a tree. When I watched the hustle and bustle of every one caught up in the season and felt isolated from it. I thought it was all going to pass us by. Surprisingly, these were the times I remember the most because it’s at times like these that even the smallest gift and the smallest gestures of kindness and love mean the most. It was at times like these that I experienced what the real meaning of Grace is. It was at times like these that I learned that Christmas happens every day when we’re open to it.
That humble birth of that one small child speaks to all of us about the simplicity of Love ~ A Gift that shouts out at a World that desperately needs it. It’s not a gift that belongs to any specific religion. It’s a gift that belongs to all of us!
“Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).