December 19

LOVE MONTH: DAY 19: “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”― Mother Theresa

At this time of year, people are scurrying and crazy with trying to do Christmas (or whatever holiday is being celebrated) right. The right presents, the right decorations, the right food, the right outfits, the right whatever! It is a consumer-driven mania that begins earlier and earlier each year to accommodate the already overloaded schedules of so many.

What if I give you something that I made with my own hands, grew in my garden, or cooked myself, with a simple sense of love behind it? I seldom buy things for those who do not need them. I may give fun or silly gifts to someone, but not often. It does not fit my sense of what I want to do in the world.

But I DO love to feed others. I love to bake and cook for them and have small gatherings in my home and to do random things for others who do not know what is being done or by whom.

I prefer to give time and attention, rather than stuff. It is, to me, a much more important statement of love and caring.

So much of life is a forgotten gift. We seldom appreciate those things that are not deeply felt when given. I know that is true for me. I love to receive something that has deep thought and meaning behind it. We all do.

We must learn to love others in the ways that they most want our love. To give them those things that are important to them, such as our time, our listening, our presence when that is what they long for. It is easy to buy something that has little or no significance to us or the recipient.

It is far greater to be present to them. That is why a present is the same word. Our presence is, indeed, a present to another. A visit for a cup of tea means more to most of us than a toy of some sort. Not all gifts, of course, but many are lacking in a sense of love and attention. This is an important distinction when we are busily trying to cross things off a lengthy TO-DO list. It may be more important to just read a story to a child every night than to have 100 presents under the tree for them one day a year. A gift should always contain the present of presence as well.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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