Throughout my life, I’ve been given many gifts, but the ones that mean the most to me are those which often had no wrappings. They came from the most unexpected sources, and were usually something simple.
There are many gifts we can give and receive, during the holidays, as well as anytime, but the greatest gift is the one that comes from the heart. This is the one that’s given “just because you care.”
When I was very young, I was married to a blind man.
He lost his sight from diabetes, and could hardly see when I met him. Although our religions were different, I celebrated Christmas with him. We were very poor, but had some very kind friends. We also had some very kind people in our lives, who we didn’t know, who donated some things to us to put under the small artificial tree.
I remember sitting by the tree, looking at these gifts from the strangers. It brought tears to my eyes, because I had rarely known such kindness. I could hardly believe there was anyone who’d be generous enough to give a present to someone they didn’t know. I don’t even remember what was in the packages, except for a basket of food.
The church that donated them was of another religion, but it didn’t seem to matter. The most important thing to us was that we were important to someone, despite our differences, and faiths. I vaguely recall someone visiting us with the packages, and how kind they were.
There have been other gifts given to me by strangers, too; furniture, clothes, and things for our son. Most were secondhand, but the thought and kindness meant more to me than how old they were. I took good care of everything, and passed them along to someone else when I was done with them. We had volunteers, as well as friends, come to help us with rides and assistance.
It doesn’t take a lot to show how much we care. We don’t need fancy wrappings, or a high price tag- the real value comes from somewhere else. As many have said, it’s the thought that counts. I have also given my time and whatever I could; to people I never met, as well as to those I knew.
The feeling I get from helping someone, is a warm, uplifting sensation that glows from the inside out. The greatest gift can come in many forms, from helping someone across the street, to just listening to someone’s troubles.
I also believe music is one of the greatest gifts anyone could ever give or receive. During my life, I’ve been given various instruments, recordings, and the opportunity to help someone write a song.
As we all know, things like laughter and love are wonderful medicines, and, guess what? They are also the greatest gifts of all! So, however you celebrate the season, I hope you’ll have an abundant supply of kindness, compassion, laughter, and love. It doesn’t cost anything to acquire, and, no matter how much you give away, you’ll always have more in reserve. A smile, a comforting word, a handmade card, is all among the simple things you can give, which will be treasured for a lifetime.
I wish all of you a wonderful, happy, safe, and healthy holiday season, that spreads joy and love throughout the year, and the rest of your lives.