The Gift of Giving…

My grandson has a tradition, although he’s still too young to know it. For now, it’s his parents’ choice, but I can hardly wait until he understands it … The tradition is that each Christmas, rather than purchasing a gift for his Poppa and me, he helps his parents pick out a gift for a child who wouldn’t otherwise have Christmas gifts. This year, a little 6-year-old girl received the sweetest red-with-white-polka-dots dishes and a Barbie and horse set.

My sweet husband and I love children, and nothing could please us more than for gifts to be given to a needy child in our honor. We also love the lesson of giving that our daughter and son-in-law are already modeling for their little one. St. Francis of Assisi said, “…it is in giving that we receive.” That’s a hard concept to understand — unless you’ve tried giving! Somehow a miraculous transformation takes place in a person when they give. People throughout history have known that …

He who cannot give anything away cannot feel anything either.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.   ~George Washington

We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

It is said that one day a beggar by the roadside asked Alexander the Great for alms as he was passing by. The man was poor and wretched and had no claim upon the ruler, no right even to lift a solicitous hand. Yet the emperor threw him several gold coins.
A courtier was astonished at this generosity and commented, “Sir, copper coins would adequately meet a beggar’s need. Why give him gold?” Alexander responded in royal fashion, “Copper coins would suit the beggar’s need, but gold coins suit Alexander’s giving.”

Quotations taken from this book published by The Clever Factory, Inc. Nashville, TN

As the year 2010 draws quickly to a close, I hope you will stop for a moment and ask yourself if there is someone who needs what you have. You may have already given generously during this holiday season — or you may have intended to but haven’t yet. It’s not too late!

During these economically difficult times, many faith-based organizations are struggling to meet the needs of families and children in their care. You may think that your gift would be too small to make a difference, but believe me when I tell you that many ministries function on the faithfully-given small gifts. They really DO add up. As George Washington obviously knew, it’s the giving that’s important; some people can give more than others. And if the anecdote about Alexander the Great is true, he, too, knew that a person of great means has a greater responsibility to share.

I hope you’ll consider an end-of-year gift to your favorite charity. The needs around our world are so great, and together we really can make a difference. You may never see the results of your gift … but the transformation you experience because you shared with someone else is worth it all!

They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.  ~Hindu Proverb
If you don’t have a favorite charity, I invite you to click the logo below to read about mine. You may wish to join your funds with those of my family.
I’m linking this post to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, Blue Monday at Smiling Sally, and Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life (because Marty says “anything goes” this week!) 


  1. I like the way your grandson thinks.

    Happy Blue Monday and Happy 2011, Susan.

  2. Beautiful message and a great one to act upon. God bless you for reminding us all. We just celebrated the birth of the one who gave it all that we might live. Hugs, Ginger

  3. Hi Susan! What a wonderful reminder to us about the joys of giving. I love the quote from Emerson you true!

    I also love your grandchilds Christmas tradition. I think it so wonderful that he will be able to help someone else every year in your honor. I know you must love that!

  4. What an awesome tradition! I love that!

    Merry Christmas!