Coco Calling: No. 34 - Gifts for Christmas
The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
Christmas shopping for parrots is a lot easier than it is for humans. We might pick a succulent morsel out of our food pots and offer it to a loved one, or we might offer to preen somebody’s tail for them. But that’s as far as it goes. We don’t need to worry about spending money or wrapping up.
In the human world, Christmas shopping is now in full swing. And it can be very difficult for humans to know what to buy everyone. Those Three Wise Men have a lot to answer for in starting the whole tradition of Christmas gifts. If they hadn’t rolled into Bethlehem with their gold, myrrh and frankincense, then humans might not have come up with the idea of Christmas presents at all!
But you know, even if the baby Jesus isn’t physically in front of us this Christmas, there’s nothing to stop us from giving Him a Christmas present, if we really want to. And this is where Christina Rossetti’s classic Christmas carol “In The Bleak Mid-Winter” comes to mind. Verse four goes like this:
“What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him-
Give my heart.”
The greatest gift we can give to Jesus, or to fellow parrots or human beings is our heart. In other words, genuine, sincere love and compassion.
A few Christmases ago, I heard about a local human family; - a young husband, wife and their two children, who put all of their Christmas present funds into a joint kitty. Then then went together to their local supermarket, and spent all of the money on a range of Christmas food and treats. But none of it was for them. They took everything they’d bought to the local foodbank in Barnstaple. So they all went without their own Christmas gifts, to help others less fortunate. And this wasn’t simply a gift to the foodbank or to all of the people that it helps. No, this was the most beautiful gift for Jesus (whether they realized it or not). Far greater than the gold, myrrh and frankincense delivered to Jesus by the Three Wise Men. And even to this day, this small, unknown family from Barnstaple, England probably aren’t aware of the full impact of their gift.
So as we all think about our Christmas shopping, let’s not forget the gifts that Jesus would really like us to offer. The gift of our heart. The gift of ourselves. And the gift of going without something ourselves so that others may be helped and cared for.
I’ll see if I’ve got a few more treats in my food pot that I can share around……..