As a child, half the fun of gift giving was in thinking about what the recipient might like. In my teen years, I became aware that people attempted to match the value of their gifts to me to what my gifts to them were worth. Then, when I entered the workforce, I was introduced to the idea of gift exchanges with co-workers, even those who weren’t necessarily pleasant during the rest of the year.
All of this came back to me last year when we moved to Brenham. Our attic was filled with stuff we no longer needed or used. Some items were gifts I had received, still in their shrink-wrap. On the one hand, I feel blessed to have received so many gifts, but on the other hand, I know that a number of these were given out of a sense of obligation by people who didn’t really know what to get, but felt they had to get something. That makes me sad because it was a waste of their time and money to get me these things.
I still give gifts – my husband and I have plenty under the tree – but more and more, I want to give something that can make a difference. One way I do this is to give of myself by volunteering. Another way, is to give monetarily to an organization that is trying to make a positive difference in the world. I support a few organizations with an annual donation, and when my friends lose a pet, I make a memorial contribution to a no-kill shelter that sends them a sympathy card.
This Christmas, consider making a meaningful gift that will delight a friend, and benefit others. If you think your friend or co-worker would be honored to have a gift made in their name to Dignity:Liberia, click on this link. Thank you and Merry Christmas!