Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

A Poem for Christmas

December 24, 2016

Chrsms

Every Christmas season that comes and goes brings an emphasis that is different from previous years. This year’s discovery is something called a “Christmas market.”

This term, which seems to indicate a market that is in some way unique to the Noel season, a market that is more joyously conducted, perhaps, than just any old assemblage of vendors selling stuff. I first pondered the phrase while reading sad reports of the murderous bus driver at the “Christmas market” in Berlin. A day or two later, while Pat and I were skyping with our daughter, who is in Europe, Katie mentioned that Christmas markets are “all over the place” over there.

This Christmas eve morn, I was sitting in the chair by the tree,  listening to Handel’s Messiah, and wondering about the Christmas market phenomenon, and how it might be different from just any old walmart or kreske store. In order to learn what it is, I thought I’d look it up. But suddenly, a star shone brightly in my brain and I decided to write a poem about it instead, without even knowing what a Christmas market really is!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

How lovely are your goods to see!

Though not in session when summer’s here,

You’re only in the Noel time of year!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

How lovely are your figs and pears to see!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

How festive Man hath profited from thee!

Thou biddest us to all buy faithfully,

Our trust in free enterprise, consumerly!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free

How enterprising  Man hath been with thee!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

Thy giftings gleam so, so brightly!

Each purchase doth add its tiny part

To make our economy glow and spark!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

Thy prosperity doth shine so,  so brightly!

Oh Christmas time, O Christmas time so holy,

Thy nativity’s obscured now almost wholly

by buying and selling of so many services and goods.

We would buy them all, if we could!

Oh Christmas child, O Christmas child,

Where art thou now in this world so wild?

But hey! What light through yonder darkness breaks?

Still through our dark markets shineth

The everlasting light.

The thoughts and gifts of all our years

are giv’n in Thee tonight!

Feliz Navidad, Jesus!

Glass half-Full

Rwanda 19 years later

March 24, 2013

Somewhere in the world today, it’s time for gifts to be opened, because the twelve months of Christmas just keep  rolling on and on.  This year,  Samaritan’s Purse presents more than 6 million gift-boxes to children on every continent.  Probably every day of the year, a few of those presents get opened, somewhere.

Last week the celebration of gift-giving was in Kigali, Rwanda. My daughter, Kim, was there; she works for Samaritan’s Purse, the distributor of yuletide surprises that extends generosity everywhere across the world, especially in developing nations.  Kim’s UNC photojournalism training launched her into a career where she could share these moments:

1316RW-D-102

It may not be five golden rings inside the box, or a partridge in a pear tree. But whatever the surprise booty turns out to be, my guess is that the immediate benefit of each shoebox-gift being opened will be a pound or two of joy.

1316RW-B-107

That’s quite a change among the children in Rwanda, compared to the class warfare and genocide that was happening there nineteen years ago.

1316RW-D-153

I would not suggest that Operation Christmas Child is responsible for ending the tribal strife that tore Rwanda apart in 1994; that peacemaking task was surely accomplished by the good people of that country who made some good decisions and then acted resolutely upon them. But now Christian givers throughout the world, whose presents were prepared last fall, are happy to have contributed some fun items there– toys and toothbrushes, jump-ropes, dolls, crayons, cracker jacks and God-knows-what-all, along with the good news of our Creator’s presence among them on this troubled earth.

Glass half-Full