When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The best gift

The morning papers lately have been stuffed full of flyers advertising every possible gift imaginable for Christmas giving.  The boys and I pore over these colourful, rustling sheaves intently every week, them happily pointing out items that they hope to find under the tree on Christmas morning, me carefully searching for items I'd like to give to our family members.  It's easy this time of year to get caught up in the excitement of holiday giving and receiving with our families and friends; it makes us feel good to share with our loved ones through thoughtful gifts chosen with care and wrapped with love.  But it feels good, too, to remember and act on the fact that our world is full of less fortunate people who would also welcome being the recipient of a gift from our hearts.

Today I was happy to find something special amidst the pages of the morning paper: a photograph and a story that allowed the boys and I to appreciate the difference between wanting things and truly needing them at Christmastime.  Earlier this month, a tourist visiting New York City had captured a photograph of a touching moment in which a NYC police officer gave a pair of brand new warm winter boots and socks to a barefoot homeless man on a frigid night.  If you haven't seen the photograph or heard the story, please take a moment to look at it here.  It will truly warm your heart.  Noah and Will and I were all very moved by this officer's spontaneous act of generosity.

The boys are old enough now to understand that for every bright smile and look of excitement on the faces close to them at Christmas, there are tears of suffering and lines of worry on other faces in our community and in our world.  As we prepare to celebrate a very comfortable holiday season where our family truly needs nothing, I so deeply appreciate this powerful reminder that the most valuable gift we can all give each other is kindness.

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