On Giving

As the holidays draw near and I finish up the preparations I cannot help but wonder how I failed to teach you the the joy of giving.  I think back on all the holidays and birthdays where you can see the thought into providing a memorable moment and wonder why it did not transfer to you in a way you felt compelled to wish to provide the same joy.

We did the Angel Tree each Christmas to anonymously provide gifts to children in need. You shopped for that child with me and thought of what might give them the most joy on Christmas day.

When the scouts came knocking during food drives, you watched me open our pantry looking for non perishable items to set out for families. As your schools had food drives you helped me pick out what was needed on the list your teacher provided.

Was there any time during these activities where you felt like you were part of something good? Did it ever make you feel good to make someone else feel good?

You helped me shop for cousins’ birthdays and Christmas, but there was never an excitement in doing so.

I don’t know where I went wrong.

It makes me question if the ones who experience joy in giving are those with such low self esteem that the gesture is all that they have to provide joy in themselves. Is that why you wish not to give? Because you don’t feel you need to experience joy in the joy of others?

If it was Christmas tomorrow and no one gave you a gift or recognized the holiday, would there be sadness in your heart? If you were with someone you care deeply for and others recognized their birthday but you did not, would you feel remorse for not celebrating that person’s special day?

I wish I could ask that you try to give at least something, whether it is volunteer time, a special gift to someone in need, or help someone struggling to see if there is something which sparks happiness in your heart during the holiday season.

I think that’s why I am so partial to the film “A Christmas Carol” the 1938 version starring Alastair Sim. The scene where the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Ebenezer how the spirit of giving and good tidings gladdens the heart, is such a joy to watch. Some day when you want to give it a chance, please watch this film.