Some dread the lines at the store,
the lists of gifts to purchase, and expense.
Is that what we focus on?
Giving is an opportunity to show others what they mean to us.
It's the thrill of watching eyes light up or glisten with emotion.
Why do we give?
Is it because we owe a present?
Is it expected and an obligation?
That's not a gift.
Gifts have no strings.
They come from the heart. They don't expect anything in return.
They are tokens of gratitude for sharing a life and connection.
Gifts are free to the receiver and expand the giver.
It all rests on our attitude.
They don't have to be purchased, but can be.
They come on the form of hugs, encouragement,
cards, e-mails, phone calls, and carefully wrapped packages.
Gifts can be given anytime.
For no particular reason.
No holiday or birthday required to spread a little love.
Does it put a silly grin on your face when your honey brings you flowers just because?
Does my hubby get extra loving for the effort?
Yes, and he then has an equally silly grin.
Give what you can from your heart.
I knew an older woman who gave what she liked.
Often ornately, hand decorated, huge Christmas ornaments.
She enjoyed making them.
Unfortunately, many didn't appreciate the thought.
One receiver had a closet where she tossed such creative efforts.
Another woman told me she hid the ornaments in the back of her tree,
where they wouldn't be seen and mar her decorating.
I'm not kidding.
They missed the point.
Perhaps the bobbles were overpowering,
but the giver cared enough to spend hours adding each bead and pearl.
Her back ached as she struggled to glue another ribbon in place,
until she felt it worthy of those she loved.
I received a number of these over the years,
and gave them a place of honor among my decorations.
When she came to visit, she smiled,
tears fell from her blue eyes and down her wrinkled cheeks.
Because I valued her gift she felt valued.
She's gone now, but I'll still hang her ornaments with love.
Giving goes both ways.
Do we receive the gifts given?
Those who stashed the ornaments didn't receive.
All lost out.
Look beyond to the meaning.
To be loved is everything.
When someone gives believe they care.
Let it touch your heart.
Make the effort to give meaningful gifts.
A writer who uses a particular pen and can always use another.
A child would love to help bake cookies.
Giving is a present to all.
Does this sound like work?
It doesn't have to be.
A letter of gratitude and love is a meaningful gift.
Lunch, grabbing a drink, or going to the dollar movie.
This week jot down three people you want to really give to.
Make it real.
Make it matter to both of you.
Give it thought.
It's worth it.
Once you give the gift.
Write how the process felt, how it was received,
and how it affected you.
You are gifts I cherish.
Your comments let me know my small efforts lift a heart, encourage, and clarify.
Thank you for that gift.
I receive it with joy.