Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means. -Leo Buscaglia
We all come with a price tag. Whether we want to admit it or not. It occurs in politics, policies of organizations, churches, schools, corporations, families, and relationships. It comes in the form of bartering, bargaining, tit for tats, and you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. We compromise. We settle. We give, and we take. It’s a vicious cycle.
This time of year is considered a season of giving. Are you a selfish giver or a selfless giver? Do you give in order to receive or do you give from the goodness of your heart, not expecting anything in return?
So, what is your cost? Does it have to be monetary amount or are you willing to give yourself in time and talents? Will you sacrifice to help others? I mean will you forego that Starbucks latte and treat someone cold and hungry to a meal? Or must there be something in it for you?Giving feels good, not only to the receiver but to the giver. It feels so much better than receiving. Doesn’t it make your heart feel good to know you’ve helped someone in need? A smile or sentiment of appreciation, or if the gift is anonymous, just knowing you’ve helped someone should lift your spirits. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a much needed and unexpected gift when times were hard, you know exactly how much your donation means.
“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” -Blaise Pascal
Being kind to others cost you absolutely nothing at all. Not everyone has money to offer or material gifts to pass on, but everyone can lift others with a smile or gentle words. Manners go a long way. When I shop this time of year, I generally encounter two types of people. There are the rude ones who push others around with angry words and gestures, and there are the ones with smiles on their faces and pleasant greetings. You better believe the type I encounter definitely sets the mood that I’ll wear home. If you open a door for someone or let them go first, generally you’ll get a smile in return. Kindness is contagious! I often see people fighting over parking places. Personally, I don’t get into that kind of ruckus. I purposely park a bit farther back because I know I can use the exercise, and I’ve never found anyone fighting over those spaces!
“No vision and you perish; No Ideal, and you’re lost; Your heart must ever cherish Some faith at any cost. Some hope, some dream to cling to, Some rainbow in the sky, Some melody to sing to, Some service that is high.” – Harriet Du Autermont
I could not post about giving to others without telling you what my friend (the mother of my Godchildren), her husband, and their children, ages 4 and 2, are doing for the twenty-five days of Christmas. Every single day, they are giving of themselves, or making, buying, and delivery goods to the people in need in their community. I have to add that they have just moved to this town, and they have pushed themselves to get out in their community and make a difference. They started their first day off with the mom donating blood by her son’s request to his school’s blood drive. The children have twice bought and delivered dinner for a kind homeless man. They have bought hats, gloves, and food for a winter drive at school. They purchased and decorated small Christmas trees and delivered them to a nursing home. They delivered stockings of toothpaste, brushes, and hats to the Salvation Army. These are just a few of the things they have done. They have plans for each day, and sometimes (like dinner for the homeless man, or money being dropped into the kettle) little extras occur. I am so proud of my friends for teaching their children the love and joy of giving to others without question.
While I can’t claim to have done all these things myself this year, I must say I am truly inspired to do more than I have. I used to do these types of things with my children when they were younger. We loved making Christmas boxes at church to send to children overseas. We did the Angel Tree gifts, and the senior gifts at the nursing homes. I admit I have not done any of those things this year or donated my time or services to any organizations. However, I usually do still make monetary donations. This year, I have an elderly friend that I want to make sure is not lonely or left out this season. And I plan to bake and deliver my usual array of goodies. Not much on the big scale of things, but I know it will bring a smile to some faces, and a certain friend’s heart will be warmed knowing she is loved and remembered this Christmas.
Are you wearing a price tag this season or are you on special for the holidays?
Christmas Elves delivering trees to a nursing home.