I love Christmas.
I also love Christmas presents.
It's easy to see the presents as a bad thing, at least from a religious perspective: Let's be honest, the materialistic aspects of the holiday do tend to steal the spotlight. And there's the whole Black Friday abomination.
But I love the gift tradition. Okay, yes, I enjoy getting stuff, but that's not what I mean. I mean I love the symbolism. I imagine most people probably think of the gift-giving as a remembrance of the gifts of the magi, insofar as they think of it in a religious way at all, but it goes deeper than that.
Imagine being a kid waking up on Christmas morning and seeing a huge pile of presents with your name on it. Think about the happiness that you get from having people who love you shower you with gifts.
That's a little taste of the joy that comes from knowing that God loves you and showers you with the gifts of His grace. God gives us all kinds of stuff: The Eucharist, Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Church, and of course sending His only Son to give His life for our salvation.
That's what the gift-giving tradition means to me, at least. Your mileage may vary.
You know, I never thought of this as a "Catholic blog," but it seems like most of my posts have wound up focusing on religion. Huh.