UP Catholic 11 18 2016 E Edition Page 14

14 November 18, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC GIFT GIVING GUIDE www.upcatholic.org Y ears ago, I dont know exactly when but I hadnt reached the age of 10, I bought special Christmas gifts for my grandfather and great-grandmother. If I remember correctly, both gifts were bought at one of those stores that have bins of plastic and tin treasures at very affordable prices. Oddly enough, while I sure- ly had gifts for my parents and others, I only remember these two from that year. For my grandfather I found an ink pen that looked like a cigar. Now I dont remember my grandfather ever smoking a cigar, but that seemed to be just the thing for his gift. I wrapped it up in a huge box to enhance his surprise. My parents had to lug that and all the other stuff of holiday travels in our car from our home in St. Louis to little Pocahontas, Arkan- sas where my grandparents lived. Santa Claus always visited while we were away at Midnight Mass. After we got back to my grandparents house wed see what Santa brought and exchange gifts. When my grand- father opened the giant box it was obvious that he was quite pleased and perhaps quite re- lieved - to find a little pen. That pen remained on his desk for many years. My great-grandmother was the recipient of a gaudy wind-up, plastic music box. I think it was in the shape of an organ and had a slot in the back so it could be hung on the wall in some prominent place in one's home or office. She was quite pleased as well and had my dad drive a nail in her bedroom wall to display the new prized possession. She could enjoy seeing it every day, even if it was out of sight when visitors dropped by. At that young age I didnt have money of my own. My parents gave me money to purchase the gifts. They also drove me to the store and I probably received a bit of help with the wrap- ping. My grandfather and great-grandmother were pleased with the gifts not because they were large or expensive, but because they were thoughtfully chosen to be something special and fitting for them. And although the exact reasons the gifts were chosen have been forgot- ten, they were a sign of my love and desire to do something nice for them. That's something that I think is missing in the commercialized version of Christmas. Rather than exchanging meaningful gifts, peo- ple are lined up at the big box stores all trying to buy the same popular expensive item. Im probably not alone in occasionally think- ing, God, what do you want from me? What do I have that is fitting for you? Recently, I heard a wise man say, If God wants a chair, he can make a chair. But what he wants is our love and thats something we have to freely give him. My grandparents loved me unconditional- ly. They didn't need the trinkets I gave them, but the cigar-shaped pen and music box were treasured for years. There's this saying going around social media that says, If God had a re- frigerator, your picture would be on it. We're Gods children and he provides the money, so to speak, to give him gifts. We just have to open our hearts to do it. Give the Gift of Faith! A Gift Subscription to: Send us the name and mailing address of the person you'd like to give a full-year subscription to the official newspaper of the Diocese of Marquette. Also, let us know your name and we'll let the recipient know that you cared enough to purchase this gift for them. Send with a check for $25 to The U.P. Catholic Newspaper 1004 Harbor Hills Drive Marquette, MI 49855-8851 HERE AM I John Fee Big gifts don't necessarily arrive in a big box St. Michael, come with legions of holy angels to occupy and surround our homes, our property and what- ever place we may be. Surround us with your heavenly protection and drive far from us Satan and every evil spirit, interference, or influence. Free us from every curse and bondage along with their effects, we humbly pray. May St. Gabriel give us the strength of God and St. Raphael heal our woundedness. All you angels of God, under your heavenly Queen help us, defend us, and rescue us from the snares of satan. Amen Holy Angels, come to our aid.

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