That's what Christmas is all about right?
But most often at Christmas, we mistake this idea with simply purchasing and wrapping something up with pretty bows and ribbon. We take that parcel and put it under a tree, and wait for Christmas day for the receiver of the gift to open it and tell you how much they like it.
Job done. Objective met. Obligation satisfied.
Well, the one aspect of giving that many overlook this time of year is the most important one.
To be of service.
To offer assistance to someone in need.
To be available and receptive to requests for your attention.
To give your time and attention to someone who would benefit from it.
These are the gifts of the greatest reward.
Much better than a kitchen gadget that scoops ice cream and cuts pizza when it's not crushing fruits and vegetables into some form of juice.
Your attention is the most purest form of generosity.
The reward is the deepest sense of satisfaction, of purpose, of gratification.
It helps if the receiver of your attention appreciates your attention. But that should not be your motivation for being of service.
Some confuse this aspect with the self-serving form of self-promotion. Giving to people who can help them better their station in life.
But the greatest reward comes from being of service who have nothing to offer in return. Except for their sincere appreciation for your effort.
This year, as we get busier and busier with holiday festivities and the tasks they inspire – I would like to ask you to please keep your eyes open for opportunities to be of service.
Not when it's convenient. Not when it suits your schedule. But when it's required.
A laneway shoveled for a person not easily capable of shoveling.
A visit to a person who could use a friendly face to tell them you care how they are and to listen to them.
A trip with someone to someplace they need to go.
You know what I mean.
You may have had several opportunities to be of service come to mind as you read these few short sentences.
I encourage you to be of service. To give of yourself to others. And to ask for nothing in return.
Then you will be in the giving spirit of Christmas.
Should you heed this advice – well really this request – you will find the spirit of giving this season to make this Christmas even more special.
More special to you.
But even better – someone else.
And you might find you will want to be of service all year round- truly making every day Christmas.