Christmas is for giving.

It’s that time of year when our thoughts become frenzied and our minds turn into whirligigs. Tony wants a three wheel bike, Nita’s asking for a new doll with a fashionable wardrobe and Joe will be happy with a baseball glove. They all sound like reasonable gifts but a family with limited funds, finds this difficult. Therefore, the focal point is placed on money. Somewhere in all of this, the spirit of Christmas is lost. If you disbelieve me, just visit your local Mall.

Christmas is for giving.

Giving of self is such a beautiful gift. Making a dinner for a family. Baking a special Christmas cake or cookies for friends is always a welcome gift. My dear friend, Joan Gross, used to bake her famous spice cakes; in miniature size and wrapped them in holiday colors. The true Christmas beauty in those Holiday cakes was Joan’s unselfish work and priceless time, therefore, sharing the true Christmas spirit.

Christmas is for giving.

Often, we do not see all of our true friends as much as we like but Christmas is a great time to remember your dear ones with flowers, Christmas candy or wine. They’re all spirit builders! So much nicer than receiving a small plastic card, (2’’ by 4”), for gas, restaurants and other shopping. I’m not knocking the card but I like tangible, thoughtful gifts.

Christmas is for giving.

There is one custom which has been dropped in recent years. Sending Christmas cards! Remember when you waited for a special Christmas card, from a dear one, perhaps with an updated photo? People who live at a distance can see their dear one’s family growth, by sending Christmas cards. The card is the gift and you can frame it forever! Imagine the WOW’s or the HOWLS you’ll get! Our pictures always dig up a treasure of memories which is a gift in itself. Of course, we have smart phones but some people like a picture in hand!

Christmas is for giving.

No present to give, then give with your presence. I was speaking to an acquaintance about his recent retirement when a very brusque young man stepped into our conversation and said, “You don’t mind, do you, I rarely get to see Joe and I have some important questions to ask him!” I thought, “how rude!” Like, I was there but not important. Don’t push people aside. Often times old folks are very visible but are not seen by the crowd. Don’t use them as a stepping stone either. If they no longer contribute their services to the world of work, does not mean they are unable to think. Much can be learned from our seniors. Be kind and give the gift of gratitude. It’s richer than a ‘wrapped gift’! I saw this “most powerful Christmas commercial” which hurt to watch. A grandfather who thought his family was going to visit him for Christmas but a million reasons got in the way and he ate alone at Christmas.

Christmas is for giving.

Give your smile. Give an honest greeting. My pet peeve is eliminating Christ in the greeting, MERRY CHRISTMAS! I do not like x’ing Christ out of Christmas! Isn’t this one of the traditional holiday purposes for celebrating? Or, did the “Wise Men” have it wrong? Maybe the date of His birth but the reason is worth celebrating. Those ‘Wise men’ walked and rode their camels far out of their way to honor and save Him; can we not walk a few steps out of our way to assist someone in need?

My idea of a wonderful Christmas is (even if it can’t be with snow), a lovely Christmas tree; preferably a live balled Christmas tree, so it can be replanted. If you are an apartment dweller, perhaps, the tree can be given to your local park or offer it to a family that owns their own home. I think this is a worthwhile idea and saves our trees. Lovely lights around the outer exterior of your home; or at least candles in the windows. A lovely decorated Christmas honoring old fashioned ornaments. Rolled cinnamon strips (3), wrapped with red ribbon and hung on the Christmas tree. The scent is unbelievable! Of course, A Poinsettia or two; keep high away from pets. You’ll always find our parade of Wise men and Stable near our tree. Each and everyone has his or her idea of celebrating Christmas.

My Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, but do enjoy and respect our tradition, too. While Christians celebrate Christ, there is another figure who is celebrated by all; Santa Clause! No matter your religion, or beliefs, do not forget the parade of traditional family foods. This is the time of year when our aged old recipes take center stage.

The perfect gift to give yourself and family is a trip to NYC, if you live close by. The city is alive with the Spirit of the season. The many bright lights, the decorations, the vendors roasting chestnuts on city corners and carolers singing old familiar Christmas songs that have you humming along. Traditional Santas and Nativities in shop windows. If you can, a must-see is The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. The highlight of every child’s Christmas dream. The tree that grows before your eyes and the Nutcracker who comes to life.

While each one of us celebrates this many century-old holiday, I believe we are of one heart when we extend our Christmas wishes to one another. Christmas is for giving, not getting!

I entitled this Christmas greeting “Christmas Is For Giving” but I had a deeper meaning in mind. Your own unique gift of you, of me, of all. The gift of Forgiveness.

Christmas is for Forgiving. Enjoy your Christmas, your holiday and enjoy one another. If there is someone who needs your gift of forgiveness, give it. Forgiveness is letting go! That’ll be your Christmas gift to yourself! May each and everyone on The Daily Feels, and our readers, be blessed abundantly with the peace of Christmas.

Merry Christmas Everyone! The Wisdom of Christmas is in each of us. Our respect for one another and the right to celebrate, our individual customs, without fear and filled with a common love for all. We must carry Christmas in our hearts and minds every day. Share in all the celebrations of Christmas and honor one another! Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Nancy Fraioli is a retired Benefits Asst. from Town/Village of Harrison, NY. She’s alive and well, residing in Sarasota with her daughter and family and enjoying the Floridian lifestyle daily.

Her passions are writing, reading books of philosophy, children’s stories and poetry. Her deep love is living, learning and sharing how faith, meditation, and music guide her daily life. And she loves to lunch with the ladies!

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