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Holiday Treasures
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This is a wonderful time of year when children’s eyes sparkle, not so much for what they hope to receive, but for the secrets of what they are planning to give. Kindergarten and elementary school students, if they apply themselves of the opportunity, are discovering one of the great lessons of life: the joy of giving.

Such odd and wondrous things can be devised from paper, craft sticks, Styrofoam, beads, glue, and glitter. I know a grandmother who wore a necklace of plastic beads to church that her six-year-old granddaughter had made for her. I can still see the pride in that little girl’s eyes as Grandma showed off the gift. It had been appreciated and cherished, just as she hoped it would be.

I am having ever so much fun supplying craft beads, stickers, old calendars and other items to a friend in a nursing home who believes firmly that every resident deserves to be remembered and receive a gift for the holidays.

Two things amaze me: the creativity of my friend, and the remarkable improvement in health and emotional well-being which seems to accompany the physical and mental occupation of devising gifts to bring joy to others. The sparkle in the eyes is similar to that of the little girl whose grandma understood the love and anticipation of pleasure that went into the very special necklace.

As a frequent do-it-myself-er, I’ve unintentionally made some awful gifts over the years: sweater vests for my teen boys that looked exactly like their mother made them; sweet breads that didn’t turn out so sweet; cookies that crumbled in transit to the point that those receiving them wondered: “What were they?”

Sigh! Things don’t always turn out as a person envisions.

Bless the Giver

To all of you who receive crooked angels or crumbled cookies, may I remind you to look into the heart and eyes of the giver and understand that intentions are often foiled by outcomes. If you see love, hope, and the desire to please, know that THAT is your gift. You bless the giver when you receive it with grace.

‘Tis not the shape of the gift
Nor its value rare
That draws one to covet
Or leads one to stare

But it’s the pureness of joy
With which it was made
And the fullness of heart
By which it was paid

And the largeness of LOVE
That inspired each touch
To convey to each gifted:
May your holidays, and those occasions of giving that are special to you, be filled with treasure!

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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