With Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the past, we have been thrown into the “Christmas Season” with all its flurry of shopping, dinners, parties, etc. The common item that is on everyone’s mind in this season is gifts! Children especially get caught up in the “what is under the tree?” Let’s examine the concept of gifts and giving just a bit and perhaps expand our perspective this season:
The nature of a gift requires a giver; we each find ourselves at various times on either end of this thing. If we are not careful, giving becomes a “have-to”, an annual duty that drains our wallet and leaves us tired. I wonder: does the heart of the giver have any influence on the gift and the receiver? What if we were more eager to give our friend the thrill of a gift just right for them or had the desire to express our gratefulness by a gift to the parents who brought us into this world, rather than just doing our duty…..would it make a difference – to them; to us? I can almost guarantee there would be more joy and less stress in our shopping. One’s motive in doing anything often leaves a residue on the thing being done, and in this case given! So I would also expect that the recipients of our good deeds would feel the difference of the heart that was seeking their best interest.
Let’s take this outside our homes just a bit as well: what about those down the street from us who can’t afford a large meal or gifts for the kids this year due to a financial tragedy? Or what about those on the streets, without a home? What would happen to them, to you and I if we gave to them instead of, or in addition to our loved ones? It would impact them and us significantly! The recipient would feel a touch of true love during a difficult, lonely time. If done with a true heart, giving sacrificially washes the giver’s heart from the residue of its default selfishness and shifts its focus outward. There is a special blessing which comes from giving to to those who cannot return, when we give simply for the sake of giving!
This year, this season, this Christmas let’s each hunt up at least one person to give to which is not likely to expect a gift from us, or be able to return the favor. Let us also truly desire to convey love to each gift recipient we add to our list. LET’S MAKE THIS A YEAR OF GIVING!