I would have to guess that nearly everyone is familiar with the story of the Little Drummer Boy. You know... the Christ child sitting in the manger surrounded by wise men, the Star of Bethlehem shining overhead on the angels and the poor drummer boy (all in Claymation, of course). So, just in case you have been living under a rock and have no idea what I am talking about, everyone is bringing gifts for the new-born king and this poor boy has nothing to offer, so he plays his drum as his gift. The kingly riches brought by others pale in comparison to the drummer boy’s simple offering which represents the true spirit of the holiday.
Unfortunately, for many, the essence of the season has been consumed by a sea of rampant commercialism and economic greed that undermine the true ‘reason for the season.’ This ever-deepening separation of values... the seemingly continual erosion of moral character in our society can be especially dispiriting during this time of year. Nevertheless, even for those most discontented with the reality of our current social order, you must admit that the holiday season does generate some degree of virtue that provides (however temporary it may be) some redeeming communal value.
We are beyond fortunate to have what most people around the globe would call exceptional wealth. With this relative wealth, most of us are capable of purchasing gifts... buying ‘things’ for others. We should neither feel guilt nor apologize for this ability, yet we shouldn’t ignore or take for granted this privilege we enjoy so freely.
In the midst of seeking to find the best in what I am surrounded by, I am wondering if I may find greater personal fulfillment by choosing to approach the holiday in the manner that the Little Drummer Boy had to - by necessity. If I were to seek to offer less materialistic gifts... if I were to choose to be more giving of myself would it mean more... to them, to me? If I had no gift to bring could I possibly find that I had more to give than money could buy?
I certainly enjoy the giving of the holiday... it brings me such joy! I know this year, like in years past, there will be riches exchanged and they will be welcomed and appreciated as they always have been. This year I will also making an extra effort to offer more of myself... to consider what I may have to give if I had no gift to bring.
No go outside and play in the dirt!