Sometimes, the lessons that hit the heart the hardest, are the ones that stick with us for a lifetime.
One Christmas Eve, when I was maybe 6 or 7, our grandmother gave my sisters and I a gift to open. They were beautiful music boxes and I remember just loving them! Then, an hour or so later, she asked us to get them so we could take them to church and give them to less fortunate children. We were so sad. I’m sure I shed a few tears because I loved it so much and just wanted to keep it for myself!
We went to mass that evening, listened, prayed, and left the music boxes under the Church’s Giving Tree. It was hard understanding why we would just give away our beautiful gift but by the time we got home and listened to my grandmother explain to us the power of giving, our hearts were full again! We knew we had done the RIGHT thing and were grateful that we were able to give another child a beautiful gift that they could cherish as much as we would have.
Then, the next morning, on Christmas Day, there were 3 mystery gifts tucked off to the side. No one knew who they belonged to so my grandmother had us open them up. They were the same music boxes that we had given to the church the night before but how? How is that possible? We gave them away at church the night before!
We were in awe! Our hearts filled up so much in that very moment because we learned one of the most powerful lessons in life.
> It is better to give than to receive and when you give openly, with no expectation of getting something in return, you will live an abundant blessed life.
So, earlier this week when our girls wanted to go out and buy a new gift for their schools Toy Drive, I felt it was time to pass on this lesson. I asked each of them if they would mind GIVING a child one of the gifts that I had already purchased them, since it is more fulfilling to give than to receive and they are incredibly fortunate to have more than one gift this year. They wouldn’t know which gift it was but they could randomly pick A, B, or C.
To my surprise, without hesitation, our oldest said, “Sure! I pick B!” But when I asked our youngest, she began to cry and told me she didn’t want to give away her gift. I knew how she felt. I felt the same way 30 years ago so I laid with her in bed and explained what giving truly meant. I explained that while we have the money to go buy something, that it would be extra special to GIVE another child something of hers because that would fill that child’s heart up on Christmas Day! That it very well may be the only thing that child receives and how amazing would it feel to know that she was the reason for another persons happiness!
I wiped her tears, gave her a kiss, and asked her to think about it and let me know in the morning. You can only imagine how I felt when she woke up and told me she thought about it last night and would like to give a child option A.