There is no joy like giving, especially when you don’t feel obligated to give. With the holidays quickly approaching many people become stressed, seeing the days passing by and shopping lists still unchecked.
Fortunately, my family has been making some changes in our annual gift giving. We’ve concluded that we are blessed with the things we want so we focus on those in need. Instead of giving to each other we give gifts in each other’s names.
Each person picks whatever organization moves them and donates the amount they want.
This year I did our family’s giving to Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. You find a tree, pick a child and fulfill wish lists.
As I stood at the tree I wanted to pick all the names. The thought of some of these children not getting a toy caused my heart to ache. I picked a kid, then another and another and another. I headed out to start shopping and then went back to the tree and picked two more. I couldn’t take them all but I could take a few more.
As I went through the toy aisles I was filled with peace and happiness. The happiness was for the six children who I could imagine opening their presents-six who would have presents. The peace came from the many blessings I have. It’s easy to forget the blessing of giving when you’ve always been able to. Yet, it’s something to always be grateful for. All parents want to provide for their children and yet all can’t.
I savored the gift giving alone this year but I’m eager to share it with Michaela and Luca as they grow.
It started a little this year: Micha saw a doll for one of the children. She cried that she wanted it. I named six or seven dolls. She said “But I don’t have THAT one!” to which I said, “No, you don’t. But you’re a lucky little girl who has lots and lots of toys. We are going to give this to a girl who doesn’t have any.”
She paused. Then, she cried more. I put the doll away. Later, I started putting the toys in their bags, Michaela came over and said, “Can I go with you to take them. I wanna see the kids.”
My heart smiled. So did my mouth. I had to explain that we wouldn’t see the children. We were leaving the gifts for their parents. That made her lose interest immediately, but she showed some which makes me glad.
Hold onto the true meaning of giving this holiday season. It feels good to make others happy. If you can give: give, give, give. “You never have enough until you start giving it away.”
“There is no joy like giving.”