The Greater Gift – As seen in a touching Christmas Commercial

There is an old saying that the greatest things in life aren’t things. Our greatest gifts are those we love, beginning with God, and extending to one another.

One of the great dangers at Christmas time (and with life in general) is that we maximize the minimum and minimize the maximum, of, as Jesus puts it, we strain out gnats and swallow camels (Matt 23:24).  He spoke this of the religiously observant of his day who meticulously followed small and technical rules about cleanliness and ritual purity,  but neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness (Matt 23:22).

In other words, at Christmas we can so focus on getting things and arranging events at Christmas that we neglect or even harm those who are our greatest gift.

Consider the growing sadness that many have now largely set aside the once sacred Thanksgiving holiday where people could spend time with family and enjoy company. Why? To have the stores open so people can run from the people they love to buy things for them. The gift eclipses both the giver and the recipient. And, on top of that we potentially sin against charity by creating a climate that requires the poor and those of the lower wage, working class in our store to work on Thanksgiving.

Add to this the short tempers at shopping malls, often caused by traffic, long lines, and items out of stock and the impression is created that things are more important than people. Not all suffer from this, but it is a problem.

In the video below is a touching reminder that the truer purpose of a gift is the well-being of another and the love we can show at Christmas.

The basic scene is that two snowmen are built, a kind of husband and wife snowman family. But one has, and the other has not. Seeing his wife’s need, a snowman sets out, enduring great hardship and many obstacles, to get for his wife what she needs. The greatest gifts are those that show care for another.

The “creator” of the snowman is watching this act of love unfold through the window. At the touching end of the video, the creator is very pleased.

And so too our Creator and Lord is also watching from the window of heaven and He is pleased with our acts of mercy as well.

The greatest things in life aren’t things; they are those we love. And the greater gift this Christmas is not so much the thing we give, as the care and love we extend through gifts shared, and the shared gift of our very selves.

8 Replies to “The Greater Gift – As seen in a touching Christmas Commercial”

  1. BY the way some of the lyrics of the songs are:

    Love is the light
    Scaring darkness away
    I’m so in love with you
    Make love your goal

    The power of love
    A force from above
    Cleaning my soul
    The power of love
    A force from above
    A sky scraping dove

    Make love your goal

    Sung By Gabrielle Aplin

  2. We have turned away from our first love, the very One of whom our inmost being long for because we have worshiped power, pleasure and prestige. Let us ascend from muck and filth and look up to whom this occasion is celebrated for, The Incarnated One who is The Lamb of GOD who takest away the sins of the world. Truly the world has sunk so low that men think the greatest story ever told is just a myth. LORD, do not turn Your eyes away from us but look to us with pity and let Your Love be the essence of our lives. YOU, of great heights, have made yourself so low that we who are lowly maybe lifted to the great heights. Oh, come let us adore HIM, CHRIST, The LORD!!! Maranatha.

  3. I went to Walmart on Thanksgiving. There barricades and police officers in the parking lot. There were even some barricades inside the store. I had no idea what was going on. The checkout lady told me that in an half hour the block party was going to start. That is what they call their big sale. I was glad to be getting out of there before it started.

  4. Too much of our society is lost in the idea that material acquisitions and material gifts should define Christmas, rather than paying attention to He who came on earth and became human to save us from our sins, and the consequences of sin.
    If you know God’s love and reflect it to others, you can experience happiness. This includes forgiving the person who just cut you off (without looking) in the parking lot at the store.
    Forgiving others is a useful habit. Retaining unforgiveness and and resentment leads to unhappiness.
    Thank you for the reflection, Msgr. Pope.

  5. Mr. Snow Man reminds me of my son-in-law who has done so much for his wife (my daughter) since she was diagnosed with ALS. This is probably her last Christmas.

  6. It seems to me that this just what Pope Francis is trying to get us to remember. Whether it be Curia members, clergy, or the laity, we need to love God first, and we show this love by loving the least of our brethren, not by looking out for our “careers”, our pocketbook, tastes in liturgy. We need to offer it up and give God our all.

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