“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa
After a rough night of sparring matches, I walked outside the dojang facing my next opponent… the beastly December weather. Stepping towards my car with light feet as to not slip on the ice, the blistering wind speared into face penetrating into my bones. I didn’t want to go anywhere else but home. Get into my soft jammies and snuggle with my dog as my heavy blanket wrapped around me. Yes, that’s what I wanted.
But wait! There was one more thing I had to do. A very important task. Vital. Crucial. No amount of snow or cold weather blast would stop me from getting this done tonight.
Going shopping for my Christmas angel gift.
At my church, we have a list of needy children given to us from the area schools. These kids come from poor homes and families with hardships so they’re in desperate need of someone buying them a gift. How awful and heartbreaking it would be if a child didn’t receive a Christmas gift. Right?
Anyone at our congregation is welcome to sign up to purchase an angel gift for one of these kids. So, every year I jump at the chance to bring a moment of joy, and hopefully, a smile to a child’s face.
But these angel gifts are much more than material things. They’re gifts of hope. Love. Peace. Excitement. A chance to make these kids feel they are a part of something greater and are not alone. It helps them know they are being watched over and taken care of. It’s proof we are all connected, and God is with them always no matter what their circumstances are.
As I was shopping, this got me thinking (which can be a very dangerous thing!). Why do we have to wait until Christmas to give angel gifts to show we care? What if we gave angel gifts all year round to help spread the message of love and joy? We don’t need to spend lots of money or buy something extravagant. It could be crazy, super simple.
- Give someone a hug out of the blue just because.
- Tell the tired and stressed out Walmart cashier with dozens of impatient customers behind you thank you for taking care of your groceries.
- Calling a friend to say hello or set-up a lunch date to catch up instead of communicating via Facebook.
- Tell your friend they are beautiful. We all need to hear we are a beautiful. We’re so hard on ourselves on the way we look, aren’t we?
- Shovel the snow in your neighbor’s driveway.
- Bake cookies for a family member or cook their favorite dish. Especially if they are experiencing hardships and feel overwhelmed.
- Send someone a card with a thoughtful and inspiring handwritten message.
The list is endless. Unlimited. A vast ocean of creative opportunities to spread your wings and fly with your angel gifts of love. If you like New Year’s resolutions, add giving angel gifts to your list. Commit to giving these gifts of love, gratitude and service beyond Christmas throughout the entire year.
It will make someone else feel special, loved and connected. Including you.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Featured image by Ben White