The Gift Of Self Is Greatest Gift


Country MoonChristmas tree

Some things never change. Every year Thanksgiving is overshadowed by Christmas. It has almost become a ritual in itself that people can’t wait until the turkey is cooked, not alone savored, to turn on the Christmas lights, put the tree up and rush to the stores for that perfect gift. We hear it year after year, Christmas is too commercialized, why can’t we get the true meaning of the holiday back. Often these words are uttered as we stand in line waiting for checkout. What an oxymoron!

Actually, I love this time of year. People are generally in good cheer, they smile more and are usually more generous. I see this in my job delivering mail; people are actually glad to see us for their packages and cards. When I ring the doorbell I don’t get what I usually get the rest of the year which is “What do you want now!”

Of course, these feelings of good cheer are thrown out the window when you’re in the middle of a department store looking for that “perfect” gift. It’s hard to be cheerful when you are shoved, cut-off, sneered at and you put something in your cart only to have someone take it out. What exactly is the “perfect” gift anyway? Does it exist? Perhaps this year I can answer “yes’ to that question. It is the gift of self.

Thanks to Carmen and Emma, two precious little gals on my mail route, I am reminded that we can get back to the basics of Christmas and what the season is all about with just a little bit of effort. A couple days before Thanksgiving they had the flag up on their box and inside was a bright red scarf and a hand-written note that said this was an early gift and thanking me for what I do all year long. What a small gesture that warmed my heart.

Tis true what they say that sometimes less is more. There are so many ways to give the gift of yourself, and in so doing, you get the gift back in that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes by doing something nice for others. I learned this ten-fold this past year. As much as I was hurting after losing Jim, I learned there was always someone out there hurting more. A couple of dear folks that I have known all my life had to relent their independence and give up their home to go to an adult care home. That’s a huge decision. Just taking 30 minutes out of my day to spend with them was such a small sacrifice for me compared to the joy it brought them. Time shared is the perfect gift of self.

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