I remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”   (Acts 20:35)


Christmas is always huge for us.  Bigger than life!  It’s been that way since I was a tiny girl, with two big families right here in town.  And then I married into another big family.   So every year we celebrate the holidays with many, many people.   Great food fills the kitchens, and lots of packages are under the trees.

I remember one Christmas about five years ago… I was sitting close to my little 3 year old niece on Christmas Eve as the packages were being opened.   She was getting the greatest gifts!   Dreams come true for any little girl.   An entire princess costume… from glass slippers to the tiara.   A nerf-ball pop gun.  Stuffed animals that moved and made sounds.  Beautiful dresses.  Bright and cheerful books.    She and all the little children in the living room were just having such a grand time tearing into their gifts.    But before all the hoopla had even begun to wind down, she and another little cousin her age had wandered out of the room and were back at the table trying to reach the turkey platter for another round of meat!   They both grabbed a hunk of white meat, then had the greatest time chasing each other around, no toys in hand, squealing with delight.   I watched them in amazement.  They had chosen to stop opening presents!   It seemed that it was just overload for these little bitty girls.

The next day the scenario was a bit different.   Christmas morning we were in a much smaller group exchanging some gifts… just immediate family.   The same little niece was helping pass out the gifts, and she came to Gary and me with a bag of chocolate espresso covered hazelnuts.   She stood there absolutely beaming as I went on and on about how much I love hazelnuts AND chocolate AND coffee… and how that was the perfect gift, and how wonderful that they had chosen that for us.   Her little three year old eyes were dancing with glee.

I realized at that moment that she seemed to be enjoying GIVING more than she had enjoyed RECEIVING the night before.   This small child was the perfect illustration for these words from Jesus.

What a wonderful picture to keep in my heart.    My sweet little curly headed Lizzie, eyes wide with delight at the joy of giving and being a blessing to others… a joy far surpassing that of being on the receiving end.

5 Responses to “Giving”

  1. Lawanda Calton says:

    What a great lesson! You have a gift for “seeing”! I love this Christmas story.

  2. Sue Moore says:

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart as the images danced before me. Thank you for sharing your heart images in ways that we are able to see them so clearly. You give us gifts on a regular basis.
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Kim Mann says:

    What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Mark Mann says:

    What a great memory! Thanks for reminding us what Christmas is all about.

  5. Sally says:

    Sandy, What a wonderful lesson for us as to HOW to respond when we receive gifts….

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