Today’s light is the light of giving.

(By the way, I’ll try to make this a decent length, but I hate this stupid ergonomic keyboard with a passion (writing at abnormal place) so it may be a short one.)

Today I sent out my holiday cards.  Now, to be clear, I don’t say holiday in an effort to placate the rabidly PC individuals that seem to have become the voice for the more temperate masses, I say that because I have several different friends who celebrate several different holidays.  Will I send my Wiccan friend a Christmas card?  No.  That seems insensitive and ridiculous.  Will my Atheist friends send me an anti-religion card? NO!  They respect me more than that.  So, today I sent off my holiday cards to my friends of various belief systems.  And I LOVED it.

Why?  Because I got the chance to embrace the faiths and beliefs of my friends.  Because I got to sit down and design eight very distinct cards for eighteen different people.  Because I got to take in the current situations, events, and families of dear friends and relatives and make cards tailored to them.  Because I got to give of my time, my love, and myself.

This is my favorite part of the Christmas season: the giving.  In fact, if I could give presents that were meant to be given again and again and again, I would.  I gave Giggles her present the night of Thanksgiving so I could see her face as she opened it.  That’s the payoff for me.  Giving and seeing the light that comes to the faces of my friends and family who realize how hard I tried to make or find the perfect present.  It may not be the perfect present, but the effort means more to them than the gift itself, I think.  I’m always that family member who, when around the tree, encourages people to, “Pick mine!  Pick mine!”  If there were no presents under the tree for me, I would be just as happy, so long as everyone opened my presents first.  I think Elder Moose said it best in one of his e-mails home from Brazil: “Christmas is so much more fun trying to find the right gift than trying to receive the right gift.” (How wise is my little brother?)

Still, this is definitely the best part of the season for me–giving of myself.  I used to be pretty selfish about Christmas being family time, but I’ve learned since then.  I’ve learned that as I cling to my family, I keep them from helping others and feeling that rewarding light of giving.  Now, I’d be happy to kick them out the door on any day of the year, especially these important ones, if it meant they were enjoying giving of themselves as well.

It’s one of the best parts of being a missionary’s sister–I have someone out there who I know is actively giving of themselves every day.  Who cares how far away he is?  He’s happy.  And he’s making me happier because that kind of happiness is infectious and inspiring.  It helps me want to give more and love more and spread joy more.

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Only two more of these and then the Room for Christmas series. 🙂  Hope you’re getting your Saffron ready to make those Lussekatter. 😉

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