I sometimes feel unhappy at Christmas. I thought this year was no exception, until a loved-one showed up with a special blessing.
Due to the adjustments in my life since my stroke, I have come to realize that it’s not fiscally responsible for me to buy much more than a couple thank-you Christmas gifts for those who have generously helped me and my daughter (Shani) out throughout the year. The reason is that I feel totally stressed when someone gives me or Shani a gift, knowing that many give to get back. Thus it feels like the most emotionally healthy choice is to remove myself as much as possible from the practice of gifts-exchange at Christmas.
Well, this year has been a little different, as getting and giving suddenly became a stress-free and joyful experience!
Shani and I gratefully appreciate the special gift she has gotten from her Dad, and other gifts she will get from her grandmother, aunt and uncles. However, this past Saturday, neither of us expected the shopping spree that her god-father took us on!
As we walked through the first store, I experienced his joy and listened to his laughter as he filled a basket with loads of sumptuous treats mostly for Shani, but also for me too! I had to bury my pride as I grumbled a little, thinking:
‘This is too much. Who am I, who are we, to deserve all this.’
Even so, it was not over! He bought us to various stores, directing Shani to choose what she wanted. On top of what she already received, she choose another 7 articles of clothing, and a lovely doll set. Then he took us for a delicious lunch.
It was not just this receiving that made us happy; it was the realization that even though the gifts come ‘through’ Shani’s god-father, they originate ‘from’ God. With this in mind, I believe we must give back to someone in need. Thus I decided we will do as in the movie “Pay It forward.” That is to say, we will pay back this act of kindness, not to the one who gave to us, but to another individual. In doing so, we will ask that they too pay it forward. We ask that they do any act of kindness for someone else, even something as simple as donating a toy.
Therefore this Christmas, we are giving a special Christmas gift to a single mother and her son (my grand-nephew), who are in need. I love the opportunity to help my daughter understand the true meaning of paying it forward, the true meaning of kindness, and the true meaning of God’s blessing.