By Diane Kauffman, Marketing and Sales Manager
Most of us know the story of the Gift of the Magi. Della and Jim sell their most prized possessions – she, her long hair; he, his pocket watch – so that they can buy Christmas presents for each other – for her, decorative combs to pin her hair up; for him, a chain for his cherished pocket watch. The story is a touching example of putting someone first in our lives.
Of course, very few of us are going to sell our last and most valuable possession to provide a gift for someone else. However, there is something we can give to others that is equally important. This gift can be given during the December holiday season or at any other time of the year, and can be given by and to the young and the not so young. In addition, both the giver and the receiver benefit from this gift. What is this gift, you ask. It is the sharing of our time and talents with others.
Mr. Harris has always driven himself to Christmas Eve service at his local church. Since his wife passed away, this has been the most important part of the holiday for him. However, in the past year, he had a slight stroke and can no longer drive. Ted knows about Mr. Harris and gives him a call to arrange to pick him up on his way to church.
Tina is a young single mother. She struggles with a full-time job and caring for two young children. Accomplishing something as ordinary as buying their groceries is an amazing feat. Mrs. Quinn lives in the apartment next to Tina’s. She is 80 years old and is often lonely. One day Mrs. Quinn offers to watch the children so Tina can go to the grocery store without the children.
In both circumstances the giver is sharing their time and talents with someone else. These gifts cost nothing. Everyone benefits from them. Mr. Harris can worship and spend time in fellowship with others on Christmas Eve. Ted’s heart is warmed by the fact that he can make this happen for Mr. Harris. Ted and Mr. Harris may even develop a strong relationship as Ted continues to drive Mr. Harris to church each Sunday.
For Tina, this is her chance to shop in peace and buy her groceries in record time. She may even save money as the children will not be there asking her to buy items that are not on her list. Mrs. Quinn starts to form a loving relationship with Tina and her children and her loneliness is eased.
This year, during the holidays and in the year that follows, look around to see who needs you – your time, your gifts and your talents. Share them with others. They will benefit, and so will you. It is the best gift you can give.