Simple Gifts of Joy

Gifts appear at the top of the list for Christmas celebrations. We do our share of gift giving in our home, including my anxious wait for Christmas morning.

Gift giving can get out of hand, but in the right spirit, presents focus our thoughts on others, even if for just the moments we consider their needs or their wants, try to fulfill them and watch them unwrap the joy we want to share.

Giving in the right way, after the example of the Christ, whose birth we celebrate this time of year, isn’t more complicated than seeing a need and fulfilling that need. And that is a joy I want to share all year.

My favorite moment of joy in giving this year came when I discovered annuals on sale for half the cost I expected. On my lunch hour, I purchased twice as many, happy to fill my garden after several years of stretching the color.

My coworker had wondered if she would have the time or money to get over and buy some for herself. After I planted all the flowers that fit in my garden with half a flat still left over, I filled an ice cream bucket with some to take to her and left them on her desk to find on her morning shift.

Just like the Christmas season, it would have been easy to think of my upcoming events and not consider someone who might want the flowers. But when our joy is focused beyond ourselves, we naturally consider who might want to share that, too.

The flowers brought that to me. I wanted to give this joy to someone else. And my coworker came to mind. As it turns out, the very day she found the flowers turned out to be an important time of need for her and her family.

The joy of giving is the depth within its simplicity, not the depth of its expense.

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