December 30 – Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

I ask for the same thing every year: a donation in my name to my charity of my choice. I have three charities that I support (The Delta Hospice Society, the That’ll Do Border Collie Rescue, and finally, S.A.I.N.T.S.), and since I can’t afford to give all of them money, everyday of the year, I ask for a little help from my friends. And for some reason, NO ONE listens.

I have enough ‘stuff’ – I’m an adult, and I don’t need anything that I don’t already have. I’m overrun with ‘stuff’, and although I appreciate the kind thoughts that bring about those gifts, I find it frustrating when I’m given something that someone thinks I should have, even after they ask me what it is that I’d really like to have.

I want for nothing except disposable income. If I had that, I’d be able to make donations until the border collies come home! But I don’t have it, and so I can only make a certain amount of donations a year. I need help.

This year I had my first Christmas season with The Cheerleader I Live With‘s family, and since they don’t know me very well at all, I was uncomfortable with the idea of them buying gifts for me. However, when The Cheerleader I Live With was asked what I may want for Christmas, he wonderfully, wisely said, “donations to charity”.

Christmas morning found me wading through a sea of wrapping paper while sitting on a stylish couch. I was handed a poufy-like package from my sorta’ sister-in-law (C) and her fiance (M). I began to open it sheepishly. Red-faced, I pulled off the first layer of wrapping to expose a second layer. Red-faced, I pulled off the second layer of wrapping to expose a third layer. Then a fourth layer, before out popped a tiny stuffed doggy with a colourful scroll tied to his collar with ribbon. I opened the scroll.

C&M had made a donation in my name to S.A.I.N.T.S. I was in absolute shock. No one had actually done that for me after all the years that I’ve been asking, and I had no idea what to say. So I just cried.

I cried because it was so generous of them, and I cried because I finally got what I wanted. It was a gift for me that was a gift to someone else. It was perfect.

So, thank you, C&M for that kindness, and thank you for keeping the spirit of Christmas alive in me this year.

Giving. Isn’t that what gifts are about?