Many years ago, when we first moved to Kuala Lumpur and our girls were just 4 and 9 years old respectively, the recession prevented us from making our Annual Christmas visit to Bangalore in December. All of us were devastated as Christmas thus far was spent with loving family and friends and we all looked forward to this very special occasion every year. We decided to make the best of the situation and go out of our way to give the girls a memorable year. As things would have it, a friend decided to visit our house with gifts for the girls. They were really excited as they were missing their family and looked forward to receiving gifts. In a nutshell, it was one of the worst experiences I have ever had and my heart broke when I saw my daughters faces. The so called gifts turned out to be shower caps that did not fit and not the kind of gift one gives a child for Christmas.
That incident got me thinking. Why do we give gifts? Is it just an annual chore? Or does it come from the heart? When you give gifts, you are giving something willingly without wanting something in return. Making someone feel special is more than enough reason to make you give more. It tells the receiver that you were thinking about them. It is also an expression of love. It is certainly not the discarding of clutter in order to clean your house.
A real gift cannot be measured by monetary value. The happiness you get from opening a gift is only temporary, but giving provides a more self-fulfilling experience that lasts for a long period of time.
As parents, we practice the joy of unconditional giving. This cycle goes on and on as we see our families setting a good example every year. It starts by sharing a piece of yourself – love or esteem and care for the other person shown by the time taken to select a gift in a considerate manner, and combining this with not wanting anything at all in return. In today’s world materialism has become a big part of Christmas – and, while many people associate the festival with positive feelings such as joy, kindness and generosity – they also increasingly view gifts as an integral part of the “Christmas spirit”.
The Bible says it is more joyous to give and in order to receive, we have to give with a cheerful heart. Just like how the Son of God came down at Christmas for humanity. We all have to learn how to be considerate and give with all our heart.
At the end of the day the most precious gifts we can give family, friends and each other is time, and attention.
Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. It’s about creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.
Love was born on Christmas,
the stars and angels gave the sign.
Wishing you a Wonderful Christmas.
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