Love to Give

Years ago, I was asking a friend what her husband had gotten her for Christmas. She told me, and I could tell she was disappointed in the gift. She was actually a little miffed. She said, “If he had thought about me for two seconds instead of one, it would have been different.”

Don’t get me wrong—my friend was not materialistic. She mentioned nothing about the monetary value of the gift. It was actually something very nice; it just wasn’t a fit for her.

That stuck with me. A gift should be thoughtful. Gifting is about showing love. And the best gifts are the intuitive ones that may not have even been asked for.

We’ve all seen the pictures (they tend to go viral) of the good people do in the world. You know, the dry cleaner who offers the unemployed free cleaning on a suit if it’s for an interview, the fast-food employee who runs outside with an umbrella to help someone to their car in a rainstorm, the theme park security guard who asks little girls in princess dresses for their autographs, the firefighter who shares his water with a dehydrated animal.

Those are gifts, given as a way to show and spread love.

There was a time when one of our children was sick, and we were making constant trips to a relatively distant hospital for treatment, logging 80-plus miles every day. Twice during that time, an anonymous neighbor left a Chevron gift card on our doorstep. We would never have thought to list that as something we needed or wanted, but it was a perfect and fitting gift that came when that neighbor imagined for a moment what it would be like to be us.

Ideas will come to you as you listen to what someone is saying. Most people have trouble coming up with a list of “things” they want. But they will pretty much always tell you what’s going on in their lives. If you really listen, you’ll know what to give.

As we race into this crazy, fun, exciting season of shopping and gifting and getting the best deals, let’s slow down a little. Take two seconds instead of one to think about what you’re doing. Ask yourself, What’s the best way to show love? and you won’t go wrong.