What does giving mean to you, and how does giving make you feel?
We often hear that giving is better than receiving; this is true for me, but is it for you? But why is it?
When I was a little girl, whenever a friend was in need, I always wanted to give, whether I had something to offer. I always felt the obligation to find ways to give. So I gave whatever I had in excess. I was a very giving person and still am. Somehow, giving gives me a surge of satisfaction. Sharing makes me happy.
Giving can be a burden.
Sometimes the feeling of wanting to give all the time can become a burden; this was also true for me, especially when I do not have the means to provide. I never understood why I had a more deep-seated desire to give. However, as time went by, I slowly realized why.
Giving makes someone happy and, in return, makes me happy. It wasn’t about how I looked to the person or how expensive my gift was; I just wanted to offer something. That’s when I realized giving was never an obligation. Instead, I enjoyed giving, whether material things or my time. Finally, I understood why It is better to give than to receive.
Christmas and giving
Christmas is a time for giving. Everyone saves money months before the holiday expecting to spend and share. Then, as time draws near, people start to shop for everyone on their list. We all have our lists, don’t we? Some lists may remain the same, and some may change. Each year people may add new names to their lists, whether new friends, relatives who did not make it on the list last year, or new clients to show our appreciation. Some lists become shorter depending on the budget or how people treated us the year before. I know it is sad, but there’s truth to it, isn’t there? But why do we make the extra effort to save and make a list? Is it all about the presents? Is it because we are obligated to do so? It is Christmas, after all. Christmas has always been connected to gifts.
Christmas, however, is more than just giving. It is sharing with and out of love; it is giving unconditionally. We give not because it is Christmas, because of what others may think of us if we don’t, or because we expect something in return. Instead, we give because we want to; we give out of love as simple as that!
Giving should not only be done during Christmas; giving should be done every day. If Christmas makes us want to share, then every day should be Christmas Day. I am not saying that we must spend money every day. We shouldn’t automatically correlate giving with money or material things. Giving is so much more than that.
We can give our time to help someone in need. We can provide our shoulders for a friend to lean on. We can give our ears to listen. We can offer our attention, our affection, our kindness. We can give our time to the homeless shelters; even animals need care and love, so why not also spend time at the animal shelter? There are many opportunities to give; all we need to do is take a moment and look.
God gave, just as it is said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gave something, or should I say someone precious to him, his son. He gave something valuable to us; eternal life. He gave out of love, and so should we.
During this holiday season, let us remember what giving is all about. Let us be intentional and attentive to the needs of others. So many out there are lonely, desperate to belong — many out there are alone during the holiday seasons, perhaps a widow or someone away from home. Some people may suffer from physical and mental illnesses and may need someone to be there during the holidays to brighten their day.
Please focus on the quality of what we are giving. Let us pass from the heart. When giving comes from the heart, it is felt in the heart of those who receive it. Give a gift that can never be forgotten, a gift that can never be replaced. Let us give the gift of love this Christmas and every day after.