My Youngest asked me for part of his allowance in cash last night.
When I asked him why he needed it, he told me that he wanted to buy a candy-gram for everyone in his class. This is an opportunity that comes up each Christmas at My Son's school. For 50 cents, they can send a candy-gram (a candy cane) to anyone in the school.
We always chat for a little while before he goes to sleep. I had 'filed and forgotten' the conversation about the candy-gram, but it was first and foremost in his mind when we started our nightly ritual of talking about whatever happens to be in our head.
He was excited about his gift to his class-mates. He told me that it wasn't quite a secret because a few people asked him why he was writing up the list of everyone in the class and he told them. All that he hopes for, is that word didn't get out and that people don't approach him today expecting this gift.
He told me that he has wanted to do this for several years and this (being his last year in elementary school) was his last opportunity.
Giving. It feels so good and so absolutely right to give what you are able to give freely.
What I have grown to detest about this season is the expectations. Expectations of what I want to give. I want to give something that reflects how much I value that person's presence in my life. As friendships and relationships grow stronger and dearer, there is no gift that I can give that reflects all that I want that gift to say.
I write my mom a weekly letter. Within that envelope, I also enclose little 'trinkets' of whatever life may have had to offer that past week. Sometimes it is just a sampling of my blogs (she doesn't have, nor want anything to do with computers and the Internet). Other times it may be pictures. I have downloaded some songs and sent a CD or made a DVD with a photo slide show/music combined. Stories of day trips ... holiday adventures ... a book that I just read and enjoyed or something that made me laugh.
Whatever strikes my fancy, makes it into Mom's weekly letter. It is my year-long Christmas/birthday/Mothers Day gift to her. That envelope full of little surprises.
That is the magic that I wish to spread at all times. A year-round gift of giving small things, when they mean the most.
My Middle Son has encapsulated that act of giving in small ways at all times. An unexpected cup of coffee delivered to me at home. A spur of the moment day-trip. A drive out to his farm. Cooking breakfast. Watching over and being here for My Youngest, so I can step out and partake in my own little get-aways. Stepping up to the plate and simply being an active and vital part of running the household.
The gift of giving is very much alive within our family and home. Not just because it is Christmas ... it seems to have become second nature.
And that ... is the best gift of all.