living our best life – giving

photo of christmas presents

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

 

During the holiday season, we tend to spend time reflecting on upon our past.  There is something about the music, the lights, the gathering of friends and family and religous services that can send our minds straight back to when we were a child or those special moments shared with a significant other.

Despite the societal push to buy, buy, buy, when I think about past holidays I rarely remember the gifts, but instead the emotions I felt during the celebrations.

I have always found it much more enjoyable to give gifts and watch a person’s face light up as the package is unwrapped.  As the old saying goes, it is much better to give then to receive and I have always believed this to be true.

So my question for all you amazing people this week is, What gift have you given that still makes you smile when you think about it?  

Thank you for taking the time to comment…..

 

” I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”

~ Charles Dicken, A Christmas Carol

 

87 thoughts on “living our best life – giving

  1. Actually it isn’t a gift I remember most, but my older daughter’s reaction to Christmas Day when she was about 5. After we unpacked the Christmas morning Santa stockings, opened up the presents, read the yearly personal letter from Santa, and consumed the special breakfast, she started to cry. When asked why, she said, “Is this it?” We thought sadly she meant were there more presents and we were quick to say we were going to her uncle’s house and there just might be something else coming her way. “No,” she wailed. “Not the presents. Is this all there is to to the feeling of Christmas?” That was a lovely sad thing for a young child to acknowledge. The build-up had been so great, and the reality of the actual morning was already over. It offered our small family a reflective moment to reassure ourselves that the feeling of Christmas- for loving and giving, and sharing special memories with her family- was something we could find ways to embrace all year long.

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    • Oh wow Judi! Reading your comments just brought tears to my eyes…….I love that your daughter was so insightful at such a young age and to be able to share her feelings to freely and beautifully with you is heart touching. I have had very similar discussions with my children regarding the Christmas season and try to stay focused on the true meaning of the season. But society “shows” us that it all must be perfect and over-the-top……….we must do our best to combat that. Thank you so very much for sharing this beautiful story……..I hope today is good to you.

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  2. What gift have you given that still makes you smile when you think about it?…I think this would have to be an ink and watercolor cartoon drawing that I made for a dear friend of her little house dressed up for Christmas with her dogs playing outside with my dog. It was a reminder of simpler and happier days for both of us. This is a good question. Thank you for promoting me with a question that brought back very happy memories.

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    • Oh wow………your gift sounds absolutely amazing!!!! I am sure you touched your friends heart with such a thoughtful and personalized treasure.
      I am honored to be able to read and learn about one of your happy memories. Thank you so very much for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This one is easy….A box of LEGOS. A friend of mine when I was in my mid 30’s told me that she always wanted LEGOs growing up but her parents thought they were for boys and never gave her any. She wished and wished for them and never got them. When she opened that box, you could see that little girl inside light up. She played with those LEGOs for days. We aren’t in touch any more, but I will always cherish that memory, and I hope she still plays with LEGOs. I know my husband sure does! He got some for Christmas this year…and so did my niece and my “nephew”….almost everyone loves LEGOs!

    Funny thing, a gift I remember the most came the Christmas after my mother died, from a virtual stranger. It was something that was so much like something she would have given me, it made me feel like she was there. So you just never know how a gift may be received, even one you have to give at a White Elephant gift exchange.

    Merry Christmas Wendi!!
    I’m not feeling very well right now, but I’m very happy and very hopeful for the New Year.
    May we all find better health and happiness in 2020

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Wendy, I LOVE the stories that you shared and the beauty of your heart and soul shined through! What a beautiful gift of legos for your friend, I know I would treasure that experience in my heart also – wether I was the giver or the receiver!
      I remember when my son was about 11 a neighbor kid down the road who was about 18 or 19 brought a HUGE trash bag of legos to our door and left them for my son because he knew how much he would appreciate them……..I will never forget that act of kindness.
      I also enjoyed reading that a virtual stranger left you a heartfelt gift after your mother passed on……there have been times in my life that you wonder if those people are actually angels walking this Earth.
      Thank you again Wendy for sharing these stories, I hope today is treating you better and AMEN to 2020 bringing us health and happiness………God bless you my friend.

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  4. This is a tough one Wendi as I never remember any gifts I gave or got from past.
    I think the best gift we can give is love and understanding. The rest is just window dressing, once off, we cannot remember what it looked like.

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  5. my sister was widowed young, had a toddler and was about to turn the same age as her hubby when he died. I knew she was anxious so I bought her a gift for each sense. Wrapped them individually and then in a parcel. She claims it helped heaps 🙂

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  6. We stopped exchanging gifts years ago. If we find something during the year that’s perfect for a loved one, we go ahead and give it, or sometimes save it for a birthday (or not). It reduces stress immeasurably, and we are able to relax and enjoy the holiday.
    That said, years and years ago, our family was struggling financially. We all agreed to exchange only hand-made gifts that Christmas. We all got chooks (crocheted hats), scarves, coupons good for chores or tasks, and carved wood figures. We all still remember that with smiles.

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    • First let me say that i LOVE that you no longer exchange gifts………I would love that to be our way. Maybe when the kids are older and out on their own.
      But the year you all made homemade gifts sounds wonderful! Thank you so very much for sharing this memory with us. God bless you Kathy.

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  7. I loved the kids getting their Santa gifts. Usually one and it was something affordable they wanted. Since we were always broke, gifts were always appreciated. Birthdays are also fun. When my youngest turned 25 last year, I got him a bunch of CS Lewis books. He was very happy. But, the best thing I give seem to be parties. It’s been awhile since I threw a good party..maybe if I’m in Oregon next summer. 🤔🎂🤔

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  8. When I was in college and home for Christmas I made “amusement boxes” in shoe boxes for my three younger siblings. I had little money, but I put things in each that they liked: special candy, small toys, comic books. They were a hit.

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  9. Love this!! I definitely enjoy giving things I’ve hand made, stuff I can actively think of who I’m giving it to the entire process of making the piece…it brings good emotions of hoping that more than a “thing”-an emotion is given, like you said so well 🙂

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  10. It was not a Christmas gift but the first thing I bought with my first paycheck was a recliner for my mother. She worked hard as a kitchen aide at a hospital and came home so tired and exhausted. I wanted to give her a comfortable chair where she could put her feet up when she got home. That was 54 years ago but I still remember how happy she was!

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  11. Hi Wendi. I can’t think of one particular gift I’ve given. However, the best gift to our family is the restoration of our daughter’s health. She suffered with anorexia and, as a result, was bullied throughout secondary school. That’s all in the past now. By God’s grace, she has come out of it with a physical and emotional strength we would never have thought was possible. Best of all, there is not a trace of bitterness in her towards those who had bullied her. She’s now at university, making lots of good friends, and is happy.

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  12. That is the best! I enjoy watching people open my gifts… I do remember one that I was very nervous about… for my sister who dislikes tchotchkes! Her nickname is Pickle (you know, a pickle is a cucumber soaked in evil) 😆… well I found a pickle fairy. The little fair looked just like her when she was small and she was holding a pickle! My sister got the biggest smile when she opened it! I was amazed! Yes, reflecting…. this was a great question! 😊💜

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  13. Thirty-eight years of living with Robin. We learn a lot when we practice all those components of love.
    We did a tree this year. (opted out last year)
    I set it up and our children and grandchildren decorated it. The ornaments included the plastic “Life Savers” novelty ones from 1991/1993, a 1995 laminated paper snowman made by our daughter in elementary school, handmade frames of grandchildren when they were “young”….

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    • what a beautiful gift, to gaze upon a tree that displays happy memories and lovely treasures from others……Thank you so very much for sharing this story and I hope you, Robin and your entire family enjoy the holidays………..

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  14. What a wonderful question Wendi. and I think back to my days when I worked in support to adults with learning difficulties and the Christmas and New Year shifts I forfeited away from my family because support was 24/7,
    The gifts of reward were in those faces of the service users whom we supported as we often clubbed together to buy little simple gifts, as many had no families.. And the joy of cooking them Christmas Lunch or taking them to the local Pantomime..
    Thank you for the Gift. In allowing me to look back with a smile… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words! I have also worked in a home for adults who were mentally challenged and were a 24/7 home. It was so special to be able to provide them with special holidays…..
      Your clients were so very lucky to have you in their lives………..what a difference you made for each and every one of them. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  15. Thank you for sharing!!.. for me it is not about the gift itself, but the fact that someone were caring enough to think of me to be special enough to share a part of them!.. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

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  16. I love this question. I always give what I call gifts from our heart, those are gifts we make ourselves. It’s a tradition of ours. That is so much fun figuring out what to make and give as gifts and it can be anything like something we bake, draw, write, sew, paint etc…I try to think of practical too.
    Then there are those gifts I have gotten that I will always remember too. One year a cousin of mine who was not very close to the family and got involved with drugs came over one Christmas eve and he was clean and sober. He had his wife with him and I could tell they were both just so lonely for family from their past (he was my step cousin) everyone gave out hugs and greetings and then my cousin said he had gifts for everyone. He really did too.
    He had no idea who would be there that Christmas eve because we had all grown up and moved away but everything he pulled out of his bags was addressed to every person there that night.
    I got a pair of really soft holiday socks. I will always remember those socks and how such a simple gift was full of so much love just from the thought of giving something we all need. Who doesn’t love pretty socks.
    Then there was a gift someone brought my son when he turned 5 years old. He loved and mean REALLY loved apples, still does in fact and he is 19 now. That year for his birthday my friend bought him a giant bag of apples and when he opened his gift he had the biggest smile on his face. I think that was his favorite gift at the birthday party.

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    • What beautiful stories you shared, thank you so very much for sharing this small part of your life with us………so touching!
      I also love how you create personalize gifts for those on your list………what a blessing each gift must be! 🙂

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  17. I feel this Wendi.. When i gift my closed ones and when i see their happiness that’s where the satisfaction level is awesome.. I remember gifting a teddy bear to my best friend and i still remember how she jumped in joy.. As said giving gives more satisfaction than receiving…

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your feelings towards giving. I love how you shared the story of gifting a friend a teddy bear, a gift I am sure she will treasure for life. Thank you for bring smiles 🙂 to others.

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