It was about 2 o’clock this morning. I was stroking my little girl’s hair, trying to help her fall back to sleep after giving her some medicine. She came home with a fever and scratchy throat. She was sleeping on the couch, so I was sleeping on the floor. She wouldn’t fall asleep alone, even with the Christmas tree lights still on. I was staring at the Christmas tree with two presents underneath when I thought about what it would be like if that was all the presents we placed under the tree.
I thought about how the girls would react on Christmas morning. Their shocked expressions. I thought about what they might say. What would we say? I was tired, alright… But, as you, faithful readers know, I started to think about something deeper.
The scene in my head faded as I knew that there would be more presents under the tree. I smiled as my daughter shifted and began to breathe deeply, finally falling back to sleep. I also smiled because I was thinking about how my children would smile as they opened their presents. As a family we do reinforce that gifts are one way that people share their love with each other. That no matter what the gift is, it was given in love.
But then my thoughts turned. I gingerly lifted my hand from my daughter’s hair. Waiting to see if she would wake back up. She didn’t. I turned fully to face the Christmas tree. And I reflected on an idea I had been think about for a while now, that the world has enough of…
The world has enough hate.
The world has enough pain.
The world has enough ignorance.
The world has enough broken hearts and broken dreams.
The world has enough apathy.
The world has enough phoniness.
What the world needs, and not just for Christmas, is Love.
The world needs more books, more poetry.
The world needs respect.
The world needs more people striving for their dreams, having their heart on fire because they are pursuing their goals.
The world needs more people supporting each other, instead of dragging others down.
The world needs more children to smile, every morning.
Maybe it was the tiredness, or the way the lights promised a beautiful moment if only for a while, but I started to cry. I felt overwhelmed by everything. The classroom, a sick child, being a father, of the fear I have every time my children walk out the front door into this world.
But there was already two presents under the tree, there would be more. There would be smiles and joy because every present is a symbol of someone’s love for the recipient.
And then there is this post, these words… they are my gift to you, every time.