As to their property, let them bind themselves under oath in the same document that they will never give him anything themselves nor through any other person, nor in any way whatever, nor leave a chance for his owning anything; or else, if they refuse to do this and want to make an offering to the monastery as an alms for their own benefit, let them make a donation to the monastery of whatever goods they wish to give, reserving to themselves the income of it, if they so desire. And let everything be so barred that the boy remain in no uncertainty, which might deceive and ruin him (which God forbid) -- a pass we have learned by experience.
Let those who are poor act in like manner. But as to those who have nothing at all, let them simply make the declaration, and with the oblation offer their son in the presence of witnesses." - Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 59.
This is one of the chapters that is the basis for Oblates. In Benedict's time a younger child of the nobility, or the child of the poor, would be offered to the monastery. The child was expected to follow the rule. When that child became of age, the child could decide if he or she was to continue in the monastic life. Today, Oblates offer themselves to God and promise to follow the rule as their way of beginning their life with God.
At this time of the year we remember the offering of another Child, the only begotten Child of God who came to earth as a helpless baby. In time this Child offered himself up for us sundered the barrier of death, and reconnected a broken humanity with the Creator. It is unlikely that Jesus' birth happened on this day. Many think Christ's birth actually occurred in the Spring, the time when new born lambs would require shepherds to remain in the field with their flocks.
In the end of course, the time of Jesus' birth does not matter. What does matter is that the Noblest One of all cared enough for us to allow this birth to happen, to allow, if you will, an oblation to humanity; a promise that God would not the separation we created with God to remain. To this, all one can say is may eternal praise, and eternal thanks, be given to God.