Give of What You Have

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Each year we all struggle over the perfect birthday or holiday gift. What to give the new couple as a wedding gift, one they will always cherish? What to give the person who has everything? And what to give people we really do not know? Gift giving can be hard. As I read through my favorite quote book I found this one, and it reminded me that the value in the gift is in the eyes of the receiver, not the giver.

We have no idea what makes people happy, or what will bring them joy, not really. We might think we do, yet we truly don’t know until we give and then let it go. The best gifts are the ones that have been thought about from the perspective of the receiver. Would they like socks? Sounds like a boring gift, however if they are homeless or in financial straights socks are the number on requested item from those in need. A great pair of socks can change someone’s ability to work a full day, earn a full wage and then feed their family. Their feet are not cold, so they are not cold, they are warm and secure and easy to clean. Socks, sound like a better gift that you thought?

I had a friend who needed bedding. He was single and was starting out. He didn’t care about the colors or sizes, he was sleeping on a futon. I cleaned out our linen closet and gave him a mish-mash of what we did not need. You would have thought we gave him solid gold bars. He was thrilled. To us it was unwanted, to him it more than filled his need. Give of what you have to someone it may be better than you dare to think.

Be it time, energy, money, leftovers or extra items from your linen closet. What you may think is the “perfect gift” may not be what they want. Fill their need and it will be cherished forever, even if eventually they hand it down to someone else in need. Give of what you have…and give often!

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