By Becky Holland
(Writer’s Note – Read the previous blog entry – The Stocking on my Door first)
On the first day of Christmas, my true love brought to me a partridge and a pear tree.
A set of secret Christmas friends left a stocking on my door, asking me to participate in a game that would emphasize the giving and not the receiving, and would be entail the song The 12 Days of Christmas.
Not knowing who they are and kind of a little wary, I left the stocking outside my front door, and a few minutes before 9pm, my door bell rang. I went to the door, and my stocking was on the welcome mat. I grabbed it and ran inside.
I don’t know who was more excited – me or the dogs – Toby(mine) or Levi, who has been a guest. Out of the stocking came a cane of pear halves and I am not talking store brand – I am talking the good stuff. (I love pears so this was cool.) Also was a little gold bird on a stick with pine cones and a gem clip. Both of these were to represent the partridge and a pear tree.
There was a note inside. The first explained the day one gifts and were encouraging words. The next page talked about the symbolism of the first gift – the bird, and its relation to the real gift of Christmas – Jesus.
As I read these two notes, my heart was filled with much emotion. (I am an emotional mushmish anyway) For you see, today was a day of bleh for me. I was remembering the sweetness of a young friend who died at the age of seven – five years ago today. I was thinking about the family I have – that I have not seen in years. I was thinking of my hometown. I was thinking of my parents who are aging gracefully but without me underfoot. It had just been one of those days.
And through the spirit of giving of some unknown Christmas friends, who probably have no clue who I am or what I do, and could have just randomly picked a house, I was reminded.
I was reminded of just what this gift that we got at Christmas really means. Jesus doesn’t leave us. Jesus doesn’t talk behind our backs or lie about us. Jesus doesn’t leave us when we are happy, mad or sad. Jesus is always with us.
He fights for us daily – like the partridge does for its young. The cross he carried – which the pear tree symbolizes – was the ultimate sacrifice. It also is a symbol of the most unconditional love we could ever experience.
My face brightened, my heart gained a little cheer.
I think I like this game.
Whomever you are, I can’t wait to see if there are turtle doves in my stocking tomorrow.