I hope you all are keeping warm wherever you are!
The word this week is GIVING - and I am intentionally bringing it to you after Christmas. We all think about giving at Christmas, usually connected with something that costs money.
I want you to think about giving from a different perspective...to just brighten someone's day.
Maybe you can give a smile to someone who sorely needs one. Years ago, my husband went to the "Big Chicken" in Marietta, GA, near where we lived at the time (the Big Chicken was a historic landmark - really just a fried-chicken joint, but with a huge chicken mounted on the roof; hence, the "Big Chicken" name!). As he was waiting for his order, the counter person said, "I'm not gonna give ya these fries until you smile." He did, she did, and he's never forgotten that - she took the time to "give" him something that day -and it was just a few seconds of human connection.
I was helping Guy in the music store before Christmas. The mother of one of the guitar students came in on a Friday evening and we visited while her daughter was in her 30-minute lesson. I found out that she is originally from Paris, worked for the US Embassy there, and is now widowed - at a relatively young age. I also found out her grandmother used to make "chocolat pastries" (pronounce this shoc-o-lot as she does and it sounds oh, so elegant!) that required hours of preparation but were to die for. The following week, I stopped at Panera and picked up a chocolate pastry (just plain chocolate, not all that elegant, but tasty) and when she came in, I gave it to her. You would have thought I had given her the moon. She ran over to me and gave me a big hug. It was the best $2.00 I've spent in a long time!
So what else can you give? I can't go around handing out $2.00 pastries on a regular basis, but I can often give some of my time. I can give the gift of listening - really listening - to someone. I can give the valuable gift of withholding the negative comment that is on the tip of my tongue (a gift that is sometimes very hard to control!). I can give the gift of understanding... empathy... advice (only if you know it's welcome!), a sincere smile or something that will help them find their own smile that may be in hiding.
What "gifts" are you going to give this year? I'd love to hear from you! And that would be a gift to me :-)