12 Day of Christmas – Giving

The final day of my journey through the things that mean Christmas to me is of course giving.  I love to give!  It can be giving presents, giving time, giving of your heart, etc.

I have always tried the best I could to try to find that “perfect” gift to give someone that WOW moment when they open a present.  I delight in watching my daughter open her gifts.  I don’t think I can ever top the year I got her a new instrument (a piccolo).  She was completely unaware and really surprised.  No big surprises this year but I do really hope she loves her Crazy Frog Lady shirt.

At this time of year I always wish I had more energy so I could give of my time more.  Volunteering to be a bell-ringer for Salvation Army.  Or work at a the homeless shelter to feed the hungry.  I do it more in small personal doses.  Giving time to my Dad to just visit a while.  Writing letters to friends and family I cannot visit.  Some of those small gift that are “free” can mean a lot too.

Around the holidays people often give to charities as well.  Whether it be a toy drive or your favorite charity with an end of the year gift it is giving for those who need help.  Just once I would like to win the lottery to be able to do more than a $5 or $10 donation.

No matter what you give do so freely and with pure love in your heart.  I have learned if you give with strings attached it can just cause heartache.  Giving freely and without conditions is the only way to guarantee it will not hurt you in the end.

I hope you take the time to embrace all that Christmas means to you.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!!!!

In case you missed the other 11 days they were…

12 Days of Christmas – Nature

12 Days of Christmas – Friendship

12 Days of Christmas – Music

12 Days of Christmas – Cards

12 Days of Christmas – Spirituality

12 Days of Christmas – Children

12 Days of Christmas – Family

12 Days of Christmas – Love

12 Days of Christmas – Winter Snow

12 Days of Christmas – Food

12 Days of Christmas – Decorations

12 Days of Christmas – Decorations

Everything is so shiny and sparkly this time of year.  From twinkling lights to glitter galore homes are transformed into a wonderland.  And through the years I have seen so many things that drew my attention.

As a child we would pile in the car and drive through town sometime during the week of Christmas to look at all the light displays people had put up on their houses.  I can remember through the years many familiar houses I would always anticipate seeing the latest creations they had done.  From the simplistic glow of all white lights to a collection of rainbow colors, it all would dazzle the eyes.

Indoors I recall a heavy cardboard fireplace we would assemble every year to hang our stockings on.  It even had a motor and light that simulated the fires glow.  Sadly it only held up for so many years before the cardboard began to degrade.

There was the anticipation of seeing my Gma’s holiday village display when we visited our grandparents.  It was a hand-made village created by my great-grandmother.  The tree would be a work in progress for days until the tinsel had all been placed one strand at a time, one branch at a time, bottom to top.  It took a long time but it was so beautiful when it was done.  And the Christmas cards that would line the doorways and mirror of our living room.

Today the decorations are minimal compared to when I grew up.  The tree is still the focal point.  There are the bells on the door, the vinyl clings on the windows and some stand alone decorations – my favorite being a snowman with a lamppost a friend gave me.  I still at 50 years old delight in seeing the light displays in the neighborhood and all over town.

What are some of your favorite decorations to see this time of year?  What is a must in your home to add sparkle to the holiday?