Christmas Gifts 🎄

by Gifford Savage

He crept in beside us that first Christmas:
Quietly, gently, unnoticed.
Announcing his arrival through a sharp intake of breath – 
a baby’s cry, just as all babies before and since.
No midwife to help him into the world,
just a young girl in the pain of childbirth
comforted by the anxious man at her side.
Danger all around, from a brutal regime,
and the threat of patriarchal judgement,
for an unmarried mother.

Yes, there were angels too,
though seen only by a handful of socially distant shepherds
under the canopy of a starlit sky.

Soon this little family will flee in fear,
leave their humble surroundings behind:
the Saviour of the World become an outcast refugee.
It had to be like this!
He would not compel us to love him.
That would not be his way.
Instead, he draws us to himself in his vulnerability,
in his empathy with the poor,
the weak, the lost, the lonely.
But in him we are never alone.

So, this Christmas,
amongst the busy streets, glitter and baubles –
let us remember that first Christmas.
Remember its harsh reality.
Remember its simplicity.

Remember God’s greatest gift to a troubled world 
came to us as a little child.
Remember that the gifts he wants us to give 
are the ones that cost the least, but matter the most:
our time,  
our care,  
our understanding,  
our kindness,
our compassion, 
our love.

Gifford Savage is from Bangor, Northern Ireland. His poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry NI, Lagan Online, Poetry 24, The Bangor Literary Journal, The New Verse News, the 2022 anthology ‘Across the Threshold’ and previously in Agape Review. He has performed his poetry on local television station ‘Northern Visions TV’ and was winner of the Aspects Festival Poetry Slam 2022.

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