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 Suzie Andres (’87)Suzie Andres (’87)A regular writer on Catholic Exchange, alumna author Suzie Andres (’87) opens her latest column with a timely question: What is the Perfect Christmas Gift?

“This is the kind of question my husband asks for a living,” Mrs. Andres writes of Dr. Anthony P. Andres, a member of the Thomas Aquinas College teaching faculty. “At the beginning of every class, he asks an opening question like the one we’re asking now. And, as it sometimes happens in my husband’s classes, we could give the correct answer to our question straight out of the chute, but, not to answer a question with another question, then where would we be?”

Drawing on her own recollection from the discussions around the College’s classroom tables, Mrs. Andres notes that an immediate correct answer hardly means the end of the conversation! “Sometimes, no one believes the person who instantly hit on the right answer,” she observes. “Other times, it takes a lot of back and forth before the meaning of the answer is clear, or the evidence for it.”

Which then brings her back to her opening question about the perfect Christmas gift. “Baby Jesus!” she answers without hesitation. “The Father gave Him to us, and we can do no better than imitate the Giver of all good and perfect gifts. The Infant Jesus is the very reason we give each other gifts at Christmas time, so why not recognize that not only is He ‘the reason for the season,’ but He’s actually the one real gift we need to give and get?”

Yet despite answering her question so quickly, Mrs. Andres continues with much worthwhile “back and forth” about how we can give the Perfect Gift to those we love. Her suggestions are creative and excellent — e.g., prayers, sacramentals, spiritual books — especially her reflection on “covert giving,” that is, gifts for “those people in your life to whom you would like to give Jesus, but you know that, for one reason or another, it makes more sense to give Him in a hidden way.”

If you’re looking for ways to give the gift of Jesus — not just on Christmas, but throughout the entire Christmas season and beyond — Mrs. Andres has provided a wide and wonderful array of answers.