A very nice young man I know recently stopped in passing to wish me and my family a wonderful Holiday Season. During our brief but uplifting moments together, we talked about our plans for the Holidays ahead. He confided that his family isn’t especially close and, although they aren’t well off (he actually used the word “poor” to describe their financial situation), he appreciated having the opportunity to get together with them and enjoy their company a few times each year.
It suddenly struck me how sad it is that so many people consider the Holidays as a time to give and receive expensive, material gifts. I realized that my friend had just given me the most perfect and lasting gift anyone could have. In his stopping to share in a few minutes of pleasant, heartfelt conversation, he gave me his friendship. His was a gift that couldn’t be bought, wrapped, or tied with a bow, yet it meant so much more than a mug, a box of candy, or any other material thing could have—and it didn’t cost him a dime!
I thought about the many other gifts we might give others, no matter how empty our checking accounts or wallets may be. These could be as simple as:
A kind smile,
A generous gift of our time,
A friendly wink,
A big hug,
Our caring attention,
A joyful laugh,
A simple meal,
A gentle touch,
An encouraging word; and,
Our love, just to name a few.
As this young man and I offered each other best wishes over a warm handshake and a friendly parting wave, I was deeply grateful for his gift. He reminded me that the greatest gift of all—and the one that anyone can afford to give, is the gift of ourselves. It’s a gift we can give, and give, and give, and give—over and over again, every day of the year!
I suppose it’s a good thing all those free, but wonderfully meaningful things can’t be left under the Christmas Tree. I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to wrap them!
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