I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered. Robert Louis Stevenson
Recently I thought back on some of the gifts I received in the past. Some were expensive, some were not, and some cost nothing. But the ones I treasured the most had one thing in common. They were all given from the heart. This is the one ingredient that makes a gift a gift. It's how much love is involved in the giving.
When I was a child living in Detroit, I played outside until the streetlights came on and all the children went inside. There was a man who played in a band downtown, and every evening he caught the bus on my corner. Well, on my 9th birthday he brought me a box of beautiful hair ribbons wrapped in a pretty box. I never knew his name, but I still remember the joy I saw in his face as I opened my gift. I also remember the gifts my own children brought home to me from school--the handprints, the valentines, and the colorful pictures of Santa and the Christmas tree. I still have some of them. Then a few years ago, a friend didn't have money to buy a gift for my birthday, so she cleaned my house for me. What a beautiful gift. I knew she put her heart into it, and she made me happy. When I worked as a Psychotherapist, one of my patients brought me a birdhouse his wife made for me, and another patient gave me a lily he grew in his yard. What wonderful memories.
The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. Ralph Waldo Emerson
These gifts remind me that giving from the heart blesses both the giver and the receiver. I remember each giver's happy expression, and I re-live my own joy in receiving. The value of a gift is in the sharing of heartfelt love, and the gift is a symbol of this feeling between people. Think carefully as you choose a gift, and enjoy the experience of giving and receiving. Remember that when you give someone something with your heart, you're giving a part of yourself. So, really....you are the gift.
Enjoy a happy heart.