Talents and Christmas gifts...

Hope you had a merry Christmas, now have a prosperous 2012. With that out of the way, let us talk about Christmas gifts and presents in general
Sam Kebongo
Sam Kebongo

Hope you had a merry Christmas, now have a prosperous 2012. With that out of the way, let us talk about Christmas gifts and presents in general. Did you know that there are so many conflicting accounts on the origin of Christmas gifting? This is further fuelled by the conflicting accounts of the Christmas day itself.

 It is claimed that  ‘Christmas day’ as we know it was the time early Europeans marked the year’s longest night -- the winter solstice -- as the beginning of longer days and the rebirth of the sun. They slaughtered livestock that could not be kept through the winter and feasted from late December through January. There are nice stories about Germans, Romans and Scandinavians that I can’t get into here.

By the fourth century, it is said; the church decided that Christians needed a December holiday to rival solstice celebrations. Church leaders selected December 25 for the feast of nativity. Christmas gained ground over the next several hundred years, becoming a full-fledged holiday by the ninth century.

But whatever its origins, Christmas, like other special occasions, come with exchange of gifts. For many people--whether they care to admit it or not--Christmas is about presents. Children nearly burst in anticipation of Christmas morning.  Christmas’s gift-giving tradition has its roots in the Three Kings’ offerings to the infant Jesus. The magi traveled to Bethlehem to present Christ gifts. From these noble roots, when gifts were ostensibly meant to remind people of the magi’s offerings to Jesus and of God’s gift of Christ to humankind. But despite the rationalized Christian roots of gift-giving, the practice ultimately steered Christmas closer to the secularized holiday it is today

Talents- now, imagine going someone going through all the trouble of thoughtfully picking a gift for you. Wrapping it nicely and giving it to you. How do you appreciate such a gift? By opening it and putting it into use? And by taking good care of the gift? Or better still, by gifting back not only your maker but also others who have no gifts of their own? All the above would be good response that show gratitude and good attitude. Now talents are also gifts and should be used thus.

Like Christmas gifts, talent come from another source, another thoughtful source (in this case our maker. Two; they also come wrapped/ concealed such that unless you ‘open’ and use them their full potential can never be fully realized. Three; the best attitude towards gift lies in not only using them well but in gifting others as well. Four; talent is the best gift any one can receive. It is always there with you, in you. It is up to you to use it.

So, how does one open the gift that is your talent? Stewardship is the word. How dedicatedly and dutifully do you undertake your responsibilities where you are no? That is the question. Do you play your role responsibly or are you all excuses and explanations? More importantly are you willing to go the extra mile and not only do something extra in your current role but also seek new and more efficient ways of service delivery.

Deep down each of us knows that they have potential to do one thing or another, but we are held back by fear and doubts. We are like people who have received Christmas gifts and kept them unopened fearing that what is inside might not please us one way or another. You can only know what is in the gift box by ‘opening’…else you will throw away an unopened gift.

Sam Kebongo teaches entrepreneurship at Rwanda Tourism University College. He also is a Director at Serian Ltd that provides skills and business advisory services consultancy.

Email: sam.kebongo@gmail.com

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