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Thinking of loved ones. Doing a Christmas gift list. Pulling hair out thinking of what to buy. Squeezing with the festive crowd and this year braving the thunder storms to get that perfect gift. And than before Christmas - exchanging the gift. The entire process of gift giving at Christmas.

People buy each other gifts in the "spirit of giving" and it makes me wonder about what this "spirit of giving" is really all about. Surely, Christmas presents an opportunity for one to pick up a special gift, letting another know their individual worth. But the world has commercialised Christmas so much that the message behind the "giving" is lost. More often than not, we circum into the materialistic desires of personal wants. The gift is often one we can live without.

I gave this concept of "giving" and "receiving" some thought this Christmas. To different people, there were varying understandings and meanings. Last year, I extended the giving in Charity to the giving in Christmas gifts. Having thought long and hard if I should buy a regular Christmas gift or continue with a life changing gift to someone less fortunate than we are, I caved in to what I believe is the more meaningful and joyful message of Christmas. In line with my personal cause to give the gift of Education. This year, I donated school bags with stationary, a bicycle and sponsored for a child's need for education. What I thought was beautiful gift of "giving" had lead me to also realize that some people thought otherwise. Non-Christian views felt awkward that a gift given wasn't directed for them, while others felt that charity should be done within oneself. I recognize both views and have come to realize that there is no right or wrong when it comes to giving. And equally as important is the joy in receiving and being grateful that you were important enough to be in someone's mind.


Colleen wondered if the school bags came in another design... like in designer bag... Prada!?!?

A child in Cambodia will receive support for 1 year of school. I pray that the small contribution can help him/her grow to become an instrument for God's grace

An AIDS orphan child will receive a gift of a bicycle to travel to school. May the 2 wheels lead him/her to greater exploration of God's wonders

And as much as we delight in all the gift exchange and merry making, all these bear no meaning without baby Jesus. The story of the nativity, and Mary and Joseph saying "yes" to God. The four weeks of Advent this year, I've come to realize the deeper joy in Christ's coming. My best gift is having my family and friends walk this journey with me. Again this year, I have be blessed.

Let us rejoice in Christ eternal love for each one of us.

The Gift of 'Giving'

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