Giving > Receiving. Really.

The spirit of Christmas is one that is supposed to be all about the joy of giving to others and feeling great merely about the act of giving. Sure, we all look forward to receiving gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, but we’re supposed to look more forward to giving them. This is something that gets lost on a lot of people, I think, who get wrapped up in their own wants, needs, lists, and expectations.

I don’t really do that — anymore. I think I definitely used to, back when I didn’t understand how great it felt to really fulfill someone’s biggest need or want. In the last several years, though, I’ve taken real pride in giving gifts that make people feel, well, warm and fuzzy inside. That makes me feel really good! Opening gifts? Temporary warm feelings. Giving them? A feeling that you made someone’s day and did the right thing — and that lasts for far longer.

This year, I’ve worked hard to get the kind of gifts for my family and loved ones that will make them smile and celebrate the spirit of the holiday. In this season that focuses on renewed life, the joy of giving, and the spirit of selflessness, I consider that to be quite admirable.

And this year, I think it’s even more important. We live in a region of the country that was torn apart by Hurricane Sandy, and then emotionally drained by the Sandy Hook shootings. Just say the word “Sandy” anywhere in New England or the Mid-Atlantic, and people are sure to run in the opposite direction. This year, more than ever, goodwill, charity, and work toward a more peaceful tomorrow, are crucially important.

In my own way, I hope I’ve brought some of that along home with me here in central Pennsylvania. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and enjoys this lovely time to relax with family and friends. Soon enough, we’ll be back to the daily grind of January. Until then, let’s rejoice in our relaxation and celebration.