I don’t know what you’re like at gift giving. You might pride yourself on your ability to find the perfect thing for every single person in your life, or you might prefer to stick to everyone’s list for fear of going off piste and getting the wrong thing. We might look at the gifts that those invited to come and see the infant Jesus and wonder what on earth they were doing giving gifts like that. Some sheep, a lump of gold and a couple of bottles of perfume aren’t going to top anyone’s baby shower lists are they.
But they were the perfect gifts for Jesus. Yes there is huge symbolism in the magi’s gifts pointing to who Jesus would become. But the bigger reason that these gifts are perfect is because they were simply given. These were gifts offered in adoration for this new born baby King. These things were all this group of people had to offer, and so offer them they did.
I don’t actually remember this advert being on the telly much in 2015, it came to my attention when I was reminding myself of others, and I really love it. There is a real beauty to the way this little girl gives of herself in this advert. She doesn’t think she has anything to offer much at all, and she doesn’t actually want to really, it would definitely be easier if she didn’t. But the gingerbread stall is happening and so she gives what and all she can.
It reminds me of the final verse of the carol, In the Bleak Midwinter, “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.” We may not feel like we have anything much at all to give the son of God, it would probably be a bit easier if we didn’t have to. But perhaps this advent we could all give what and all we can, simply our hearts to the baby boy in the hay.