by Sr. Prisca Ovat, MMM Kenya 17.12.2022
The tradition of having someone to pray for and exchange gifts with comes alive Christmas after Christmas. It is usually an exciting exercise to look forward to. However, I seem not to always look forward to the gift-exchange exercise because there are particular persons I pray not to pick their names. Having to buy them Christmas gifts often seems to come with the headache of knowing what to get if they are unappreciative or demanding. What to buy for a highly selective and classic person and whether that would meet their expectations appears to be a nightmare.
A couple of times, I would have to look closely at their feet just in case I discover what shoe size they wore, check their bathrooms for their make of toiletries, watch keenly for something they wear which would require a replacement, listen attentively to something they lament not having but wish they had. Yet, all the close monitoring and extra care exemplify the natural care we owe each other. Finally, the day dawns, and everyone expects the revelation on their kindles and what gifts await to greet them. Whether or not I ever appreciated those gifts, I accepted them wholeheartedly just for the gestures, love, and efforts that would have gone into them.
Our creativity as MMMs extended to the staff with whom we work. And on one of these occasions, I received something quite unusual as a Christmas gift – a live cock. No one would ever imagine how much of a joke this became. To the greatest embarrassment of the generous giver, it was the best Christmas gift ever. So while others went home with personalized gifts, mine was to be shared with the community. It was something new, and they were yet to learn the other meaning of gift-giving.
The lesson not only lies in the act of giving but the generosity and realization that we can be family, as in some cultures where families share a meal with those unable to afford anything. The small things that make life more than what makes the difference. Yes! It is another Christmas, and I look forward to a gift from my Kris kindle, lamb, or puppy.