A Gift List may contain an I-Phone, I-Pad, Laptop, car, trip, cruise or another lavish item you’ve longed to possess. You may or may not receive these. Don’t despair, think about the best gifts you have received?
When I consider that question, I find that the very best gifts aren’t tangible items at all. Sure, I loved my first two-wheel bike, but the day my Dad sat in the middle of our living room floor to play jacks and marbles, I felt like the most special daughter ever! TIME is a gift that we are not required to give to other. Family and friends can get so caught up in their responsibilities that they do not have “time” to spend with loved ones. Time is what life is made of and meant to be used wisely.
When I was ready to quit college because I did not think I could succeed, a professor stepped in and encouraged me to keep trying and not give up. His gift of ENCOURAGEMENT nudged me forward to achieve a BA degree and later an MA degree. During times of self-doubt, I would remember his words and focus on what was possible rather than thinking negatively.
Twenty-six years ago, my husband died. I was overwhelmed with the suddenness of his death, tasks surrounding it, and new responsibilities I would face without a husband. The anxiety drained my energy and it became a challenge to accomplish even simple household tasks. I will never forget the gift of SERVICE an acquaintance gave me. She came to my home and cleaned, so that all would be ready for the funeral day and host of visitors.
MERCY, the withholding of judgement and punishment even when deserved, is another gift I have experienced from family, friends and God. FORGIVENESS goes along with mercy. We don’t talk about it much, but it needs a place in every healthy relationship. No one fulfills all expectations or follows every rule perfectly. We all need the opportunity to try again.
So as we make our holiday gift lists, think of the intangible gifts you have to offer to others. The other stuff is just that—stuff.