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As many of us get in the hustle and bustle of getting last minute presents, we never truly have a minute to think about the Best Christmas Present Ever. During this beautiful time of year, many smile more, have the Christmas Kindness spirit, and simply have more of a spirit of generosity. Let us not forget, many of us literally shop until we drop.

Even though many seem more generous at this time, unfortunately most think presents have to come wrapped in a beautiful box with brightly colored ribbon. I disagree with this being the best possible gift one can give. I remember just like it was yesterday, being asked to deliver food baskets to students whose families were in need. The baskets were to be delivered to help the families during the holidays. I remember being greeted by a mother and a beautiful little girl with a smile that could put sunshine in anyone’s day. As I talked with the mother, the little girl tugged at my coat. When I stopped my conversation to give the bubbly little girl my attention, she presented me a picture she had drew of herself and me. She then gave me the biggest hug ever while screaming, “Thank you!!” What happened next left an impression on me that will stay with me for a lifetime. The mother asked me to go with her to the kitchen. When we entered the kitchen she slowly opened the refrigerator. To my surprise, I only saw a container of water, and a small soda. She explained she didn’t know what she was going to do for the holidays, or where her next meal was coming from. She thanked me repeatedly. I told her she didn’t have to thank me because I was thankful to be able to help. She shared with me the food basket gave her hope that her life could get better. She went on to say she was going to share her food basket with her neighbor who was having some financial struggles too. Even though she had very little, she was willing to share to help someone else. Amazing, right?

Many times we feel like giving gifts is the only way to show loved ones and others our love during the holidays. This is totally untrue! Many times spending time to laugh, catch up, and create beautiful moments is a gift in itself. Visiting senior citizens, those in the hospital, those in group homes, or those who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one is a gift that keeps on giving. Have you ever thought this was too small or the person would much rather have a gift? Helping others is never too small of a gift. In the story above, the gift of a meal was the greatest gift of all.

So the best gift ever…… simply giving your time and talent to others.

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