When I found myself at the mall area the other night picking up a few things, stuck in traffic, questioning my decision of going to the mall, I was reminded that giving is not about who can spend the most but really about who can give the most. Giving does not come from the wallet but from the heart. As I was sitting in traffic, I noticed more than one car overflowing with packages and newly bought gifts-to-be.
We, in the land of plenty, seem to over spend each year for gifts for those who make a difference in some way or another in our own lives. I hear the stories of buying expensive toys and gifts of all kinds only to find them put in a closet never to be seen again, or at least until spring cleaning brings us to them and we sit and ponder where that came from.
In my own house, when I am needing something out of the overflowing closet, I always find more things than I have ever needed and many times duplicates of the same item. I have closet doors that should come with avalanche warning signs on the doors.
I would much rather receive a cake or pie from someone to enjoy during the festivities of the season, than to receive yet another sweater or video game that I will rarely wear or use. Don’t get me wrong, I love being remembered, as we all do, but I have all that I need. I am truly blessed with family and friends and more than enough sweaters.
And so I applaud those children who are not selfish and know the gift of giving at such a young age. Perhaps if I were young again and receiving toys, I would take them, unused, to a shelter and have them distributed to those who are less fortunate or as the one boy did, donate them to the Marines for their Toys for Tots program.
I admit that I have never been a materialistic person needing all of the new toys and gadgets. If I had a choice of spending time with friends and family or having the latest and greatest, I would recognize that the greatest has to be the friends and family I have been blessed with and I would give the rest away to those who would smile just knowing they were remembered.
The gift of giving is not something you can learn, nor is it done because of a column in a newspaper. It comes from the heart. It cannot be forced upon someone as these children did it on their own without any persuasion from their parents or others.
The gift of giving is the greatest gift of all.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.