When I was younger, I was lucky enough to receive many presents every Christmas. My siblings and I would race to the living room door and peer in through the door at the Christmas Tree – we weren’t allowed into the “Present Room” until after Mum and Dad woken up. Once inside, I would count up who had the most presents, measuring who had the biggest ones (I always wanted the biggest and the most).
As we grew up, the pile of presents under the tree got smaller and smaller. Relatives had other young family members to buy presents for but although the present amount grew smaller, the value of the presents increased.
There was one present from a certain relative we would get most years. It was a CAFOD World Gift. I didn’t understand the point of this gift at first. Why would my relatives spend money on a vegetable patch or some chickens for someone in need rather than on a new toy for me? My little brain couldn’t understand it.
But as time went on and these types of presents became quite frequent, I learnt the value of what a gift really is.
I was blessed to be able to open even one present on Christmas morning and spend the day surrounded by loved ones. We would have a wonderful Christmas Dinner cooked by my parents never be short of food or drink. Some people would give anything for that vegetable patch to provide food and a source of income for their families.
While I was surrounded by material presents and “toys” that would be played with and then discarded over time, it was these gifts that had a lasting impact. The gift of giving to someone in need. A gift someone needed a lot more than I needed another toy.
I’m so grateful to my Auntie for buying us those gifts. It taught me to be grateful for what I have and the power of giving.
We recently bought a family member a similar present for their birthday. Do you have a birthday coming up or of someone you know? If so, could you buy them a gift that makes a difference?