Matthew 2:9-11 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
It was this first offering of great love that spurred forth our (sometimes excessive) tradition of giving each other gifts at Christmas. BTW...someone made a good point...He was cold and without proper shelter...why not a blanky and some food! You should research the information out there about the symbolism of these three gifts...it's interesting if you don't already know it. However, I was more interested in what would be the modern day equivalent. This is what I reasoned out in my squirrely little brain: Gold=Gold (der...at almost $1,600 an ounce, who wouldn't want a little ka-ching and bling!), F and M=perfume and incense (both were burned because of their aromatics). I would consider all three very fine gifts but would still prefer food, shelter and a blanket or sweater.
Today's Christmas Memory: Christmas traditions while growing up in small-town east Texas in the 70's, 80's and 90's consisted of a few standards. One of those was the Christmas tree. When we were still very young, I remember driving down country roads helping Daddy scout out a "Seater" tree (I was certain it would look like a chair and wondered how we would decorate it). In later years, we would buy our cedar at the tree lot. One year, Daddy took the tree out in the back yard and threw a lit match on the used, dead tree to show us how quickly it would catch fire. Even though it only took a second, the flash was so hot that I could feel the heat through the bay window in our kitchen. With that little demonstration and my allergies, that was when we went to fake trees. To me, traditions are alive. They change and evolve each year. For instance, I can totally see having an "As Seen On TV" gift exchange with the family we have chosen since this year was such a success. I do hope, however, that I find my Christmas spirit next year and don't have a repeat of hiding from the Christmas decor like this year. That would be a no bueno tradition.