I have always enjoyed seeing beautifully wrapped gifts. I found pages of colorful pictures showing wrapped gifts in a Idealhome's British edition, Complete Guide to Christmas, December 2007. Here is a quote I found about gifts..."May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness and tied with love." ~L.O.Baird
The next piece though, is the best that I have ever read regarding gifts. It exemplifies my take on gifts so perfectly. It is written by Ken Gire.
"Most of what we have we've worked for, haven't we? By the sweat of our brow and the labor of our hands. But who gave us those hands? And the strength to use them? And the mind to coordinate them? Were they not all gifts?
Or maybe our work is mental not manual, and we are where we are in life because of years in education. But who gave us the mind to utilize that education? Who integrated the circuitry for the storage and retrieval of those thoughts? Who provided the neurological current that even makes our thoughts possible?
Or maybe our work revolves around certain issues burning in our heart, and that's why we're a social worker or a judge or why we volunteer at a homeless shelter. We live and work by the dictates of our conscience. But who did the dictation? Truth, justice, a sense of right and wrong, compassion.
Where did these grand notions originate? With us? Were they not engraved on our heart the way the commandments were etched on stone? Were they not also gifts? The love we give. The love given to us. Was it not a gift? And faith, that most primal of spiritual responses. Did it not also come to us as a gift?
The air we breathe. A gift. The lungs to breath it. A gift. The involuntary muscles that keep us breathing. A gift. Our waking up to a new day. A gift.
Whatever we start with, if we follow it far enough back, the source is God and His generosity in sharing it. It's all a gift. Everything. We live, quite literally, off His generous bounty.
So great the generosity. So little the gratitude. Yet still He gives. Gift after gift after gift."
"Oh God, you who brought me, without consulting me, without my knowledge of what you were doing or why, into this difficult and puzzling, but also fascinating world, help me to trust you to know what you're doing.
I owe every single thing I have, and am, and know, and enjoy, and love, to your generosity, initiative, intelligence, and power...all summed up in the all-encompassing phrase "creative love"...
Teach me to be trusting, instead of cynical; peaceful, instead of quarrelsome; humble, instead of arrogant. Teach me to stop thinking I know more and better than the Being that gave me my being!
~ Joan Bel Geddes
This Christmas season may I be reminded what real gifts are, and that sometimes in this world we find ourselves in, the concept of gifts has been distorted. That giving of ourselves, our time, our care and concern, can be the most important gifts of all.