My favorite gifts: A Christmas story

Column by Michael Alcorn
Posted 12/4/18

“I have it within me, my child, to bestow upon you 12 gifts. Ask, and they shall be yours.” This was at the beginning of all things, and the Celestial Being had upon his brow such wisdom and …

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My favorite gifts: A Christmas story

Posted

“I have it within me, my child, to bestow upon you 12 gifts. Ask, and they shall be yours.”

This was at the beginning of all things, and the Celestial Being had upon his brow such wisdom and strength that the child believed him. But the child, being a child, was very simple and did not understand the ways of the Being, nor would it ever. So, the child asked simple questions.

“How should I ask? How can I make known to you what I want?”

“Ah,” the Being replied. “That is very perceptive of you. Therefore, my first gift will be Language, which will allow your thoughts to be known. And, some day, I will send one who is touched with the Divine to show you how to make language into a thing of beauty and magic.”

And the child did not understand, but the Being seemed pleased with himself, so the child thought it must be good. They walked together again for a time, and the child looked around.

“Is this place always like this? Is the space above always blue?”

And the Being thought about this for a moment. “I believe I see what you mean. To understand the beauty of this place, you must have it shrouded for a time. Therefore, my second gift will be Night. But, I will also fill this Night with a different kind of beauty, one that you will have to learn to appreciate.”

And the child did not understand this, either, but it seemed good.

“And further,” the Being continued. “I will change the nature of the days and nights, so that some of the time, they are hot and bright, and other times, they are cold and grey, and other times they will filled with color. You will learn to plan your life around these Seasons, for there will be a time for every purpose under the sun.”

It occurred to the child that it had not yet had a chance to actually ask for any gifts, and it had already received three. But the Being was not such as one would argue with, so the child remained quiet about it.

“And what am I to do here? Why am I here?”

The Being stopped, and assumed a very thoughtful pose, and stayed that way for some time. In fact, the child had begun to think about other things by the time the Being spoke again.

“This is a challenging question, my child, and I can only answer the first part of it. You will need something to fill your times, to give you purpose. Therefore, I will give you the gift of Work. It will make you stronger and wiser to have a purpose, to have to struggle to accomplish things, and, sometimes, to fail, only to rise up again and exceed yourself.”

And the Being turned and walked slowly away, nodding to himself, pleased with his own solution.

The child, on the other hand, did not understand, but did not like the sound of this one little bit.

The child ran to catch up with the Being. “Sir, how am I to know how to do things, how to struggle and what I should be doing?”

“Ah, for that, my child, I will give you one of my favorite things: Books. They will use the gift of Language to convey skills and techniques, history and philosophy, ideas and facts. This gift will be of great use to you, if you just learn to love them.”

And the child had no idea if the Being had actually answered the question or not, but the Being seemed pleased with himself, so the child did not interrupt.

“And, someday, you will learn to condense all of the books onto tiny devices that fit in your pocket and will rule your life, if you allow it.”

And that did not seem good.

To be continued...

Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. He will be available from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 15, at 5340 Coffee to sign copies of his books, including the newly released “Charon’s Blade” His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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