With the New Year fast upon us, and Christmas less than two weeks away, I am inevitably forced to take account of my “generosity” or lack of for this year, and evaluate the needed changes for the coming new one. Although there are many beautiful and skillfully-wrapped gifts in the spare bedroom waiting to be delivered to family and friends that makes me feel “generous,” I can’t help but think that within two weeks after these gifts have been opened, most will end up either being taken back to the store of purchase, (that’s the purpose of gift receipts) or abandoned altogether never to be touched again.
All this unfortunately leaves me with just one question; namely, what gift do I give to the people that I care about that will impact their lives and make a difference? Now of course there is not a one size fits all answer to this question, as people are all different and each have their own individual tastes with various likes and dislikes, and what about product availability?…..blah, blah, blah! Then it hit me …. the reason why this is so very difficult to do, is because the gift I’m trying to give that will impact another’s life, isn’t something that can be bought, wrapped and put under a tree at all; but the gift of one’s very self, and the friendship and companionship that go along with that giving. It’s the time taken to listen to a friend in crisis, or time spent taking your mother to the grocery store knowing that this will most likely be an all day event. It’s helping your neighbor remove the snow from his driveway when your blowers down and all you have is a shovel…yikes. It’s all the aforementioned things as well as a thousand other little things you do on a consistent basis throughout the year that truly impacts another’s life, as well as make a difference.
Now I’m not advocating boycotting Christmas gifts this year, scaling back ….maybe, but I think the most generous and best gift you can give to anyone, especially those most dear to our hearts, is the gift of yourself; and don’t worry Christmas will still come. As the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch stole Christmas so eloquently puts it “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” Ah yes, the Grinch finally got it, and so should we.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!