True Christmas is gift giving to those we love and who need it


Today the whole Christian world is celebrating Christmas. It’s Jesus’ birthday and everyone is merry making. It is only fitting to do so because out of His birth was the guarantee of salvation. Without Him coming down in flesh the promise of salvation that the prophets preached would have remained a promise.

Jesus’ birth then gave the real meaning of Christmas that many would confuse today in this world encompassed and soaked in materialism. Adults and children go on carolling to raise funds instead of giving cheer and happiness. Government offices send out letters of solicitation to their office suppliers and contractors for whatever contribution they can give to the Christmas Party of the office despite admonition of laws against solicitation of any kind especially during the Christmas season.

It was clear from the beginning that God gave His only Son as a gift of salvation and redemption to mankind that has wallowed deep in sin after inheriting the original sin committed by Adam and Eve and therefore is unable to save itself. It was out of His love for man that God gave Jesus made flesh. Christmas should therefore be honoured more in giving than in receiving by those who have the means and should not be confused with receiving from those they have authority or influence and ascendancy over. That would be coercion.

Gift giving during Christmas has therefore more meaning if the gift is given to the one who needs it most and not to the one who can dispense favour to the giver because that would be bribery if not corruption.

Talking of gift giving to the one who needs it, there is a parallel but perhaps coincidence of issues during the first Christmas Day and today. The Jews were wondering, would Jesus as the anticipated Messiah come like a thunderbolt of lightning to save mankind, especially the Israelites from their enemies? Or would He come as prince born of royal blood who is entitled to succession as king? Never was He expected to come as a son of an ordinary carpenter even if that carpenter is in the lineage of Abraham.

For weeks now in Bohol there is this raging issue of who to name the Bohol circumferential road to, to a Boholano who was a former President of the country or to a Boholano who was only a former Congressman and Governor? This may be a farfetched parallelism but in a way, it is, when we talk of gift.

To whom do we gift the honor of being remembered in eternity for what he has done for Bohol? To one who has already gained so much accolade or to one who was no less great but has not yet been honoured legally except in the hearts of the Boholanos?

I am referring to the issue that has divided the Boholanos and that is the proposed law naming the Bohol Circumferential Road to Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Circumferential Highway or Gov. Erico B. Aumentado Circumferential Highway. Although there are those who say that the division is only true among politicians but not among the Boholano public? A cursory survey of the broadcast media in Bohol gave an overwhelming support for naming it to Gov. Erico B. Aumentado. But again the politicians make the law and the public is only expected to follow and obey.

If we take the lesson and meaning of Christmas, who is in need of the gift; Pres. Garcia who is already a recipient of so many honors both national and local; or Gov Aumentado who is no less a great Boholano but who has no honor of having facilities or infrastructure being named after him?

As to the merits of who deserves it better or who needs the honor more, there is no need for deliberation since President CPG has been long gone when the project was conceived, implemented and completed. Boholanos know very well who was the prime mover of the project from conceptualization to implementation and up to the time of its completion. Well, may be other leaders dreamed of it earlier but definitely it did not go back to Pres. CPG.

If you ask me, let’s give the gift to the one who deserves and needs it the most. It is only fitting and proper that Gov. Erico B. Aumentado’s name be perpetuated by the project that he has laboured so well to accomplish for the love of his fellow Boholanos.


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