Monday, December 14, 2015

The Giving Season

by Terri

You know that old adage “It’s better to give than receive”? You learned it as a child and tried hard to instill it in your own children. And it was so rewarding when you could see them getting it.  It’s been a long time since my children learned that lesson but I vividly remember it blossoming in my grandson two Christmases ago when he was 12. 

He decided he wanted to get his dad a Phoenix Suns’ jersey with his last name and birthday number on the back (Porter 09).  I tried to explain to him that it was an expensive gift but he was insistent. He stood by me as I ordered it on the computer to make sure I did it exactly right. He dug the money for it out of his bank and handed it to me happily. Then each day when he came home from school the first thing he asked is if it had been delivered yet. He was more excited about giving that gift to his father than about anything he might be getting himself. It certainly warmed this grandmother’s heart.

On Christmas morning, he barely looked at the stack of presents beside him but pushed his gift toward his dad and asked him to open it. The twinkle in his eye as he saw his gift opened told me he was finally getting it. It’s definitely better to give than to receive.

And what does that photo at the top of this post have to do with this subject? This is our pomegranate tree, one that, if I had known it was going to drop leaves all over and be nothing but dead sticks in the winter, I would have never bought. For years we have tried to keep the birds from eating all the pomegranates before we can pick any of them for ourselves. My husband wanted to give up. It was too much trouble to feed, water, prune and rake up after this tree that has provided us with nothing. But I talked him out of it. It makes me feel good to know I am feeding the birds with my pomegranates at a time of year when food is scarce for them. So I do the work that it takes to keep this tree producing fruit. I can buy all the pomegranates I want at the store. The birds need my willing donation of fruit and seeing them enjoying it no longer frustrates me. It makes me happy to be able to share the bounty with them. Well, not exactly “share”. They actually eat every last pomegranate on our tree!

Do you remember the first Christmas when you were more excited about giving than receiving? Do you remember a particular time when your children discovered the joy of giving? It’s a wonderful feeling and even more wonderful to be able to teach it to the children in your lives. I would love to hear your stories relating to the subject of giving. I hope you will share them with us either in the comments below or on our Facebook page or Instagram. And we  hope you will also share your photos in our Flickr group. Wishing you all a holiday season full of the joy of giving.


Dotti said...

Thinking back, I'd have to say that the first year our daughter embraced this idea was when she was maybe 13 and had had pneumonia for a couple of weeks prior to Christmas. While her dad and I went to church on Christmas Eve, she decided she had to make something for us. She scrounged around and finally came up with the idea to make ornaments from toothpicks and gold glitter, which she wrapped in a shoebox. I guess they were sort of our family's version of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, not pretty but filled with love. We used those ornaments until they just fell apart, which, of course, they did. But it's a beautiful memory and now looking back, I realize that it was a preview of the loving, generous person she has become.

Carol said...

Every year I get out a stack of children's Christmas books as I decorate he house.Although we have long since outgrown the writing, we have never outgrown the stories. My favorite is about a family who gives an after Christmas party for the birds and animals. They "un-decorate" the tree,and stand it up in the yard, then redecorate it with peanut-butter pine cones, strings of popcorn, and stale Xmas food. Then they drink coco inside and watch the animals party. Looks like you have brought that to life! I love it!

kelly said...

I'll never forget the year that my mom bought my dad the pair of cowboy boots he'd been wanting. I was maybe 6 or 7....they were quite expensive (for my parents at the time) and my mom was so excited to give them to him. I remember mom brainstorming a number of scenarios for tricking him with just one boot in the box. My mom, my brother, and I were all in on the big secret. And we couldn't help but start snickering when he opened the box. To make someone smile ....that's the best feeling in the world. Thank you for prompting me to walk down memory lane today....and for the big warm, fuzzy that accompanied it. xoxoxo

Kelly Kardos said...

I remember when I was about 13 or 14 and I was babysitting regularly. My mom and dad were golfers and my dad needed club covers. My mom took me shopping and I picked red covers with red and white Pom poms( to
Match his fold bag).I had enough money left over to by a golf towel. I remember how proud I was that I could pay the entire amount. I could not wait until my dad opened that present. I think I felt like your grandson-nothing else mattered except my dad opening and loving it. Thanks for that Terri-I really miss my dad this Christmas-but happy to have this memory xo

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