To give…

GivingIt was my first “Mothering Sunday” and it included flowers and dinner out. Being in the same town as one of my girls is a treat. It’s been years.

This retail created day to worship ‘mom’ reminded me that I like ‘days’, not because I’m great at playing along with the purchasing hype, but because of the general celebratory mood. People seem happier, kinder. Okay yeah, maybe I’m being a tad Pollyanna-ish, but seriously, there’s a good vibe around on days like this. People do make an extra attempt to be pleasant and treat each other with a little extra specialness. It’s lovely. Hmm, here’s a thought. Let’s make every day a “day”! Oops, I just heard a collective joyful gasp from Carlton’s CEO, and a few Hallmark executives just bought more stock options, but that’s not what I’m talking about. And yet, maybe I am.

Once upon a time, it didn’t cost the farm to be nice to someone, though. Speaking of Carlton, I don’t remember when I purchased my first card because mostly I made them. It was appreciated. It was thoughtful. Yes indeed, there was a time when giving was easy and I did it often. At some point I changed, however, which is a regrettable thing because I realize now my spontaneity and generosity was a good thing. Maybe I should bring those traits back into my world. Can I? I believe so.

I like holiday gaiety. I do not like the pressure. Over the years, buying more and more became a stressor for me and I began bowing out of things so I wouldn’t have to spend. Not being the best manager of money, there were times when a birthday, or a party, or a ‘day’ fell when my bank account was empty. I wasn’t creative enough of figure out how give something affordable. I’m pretty sure it was a false pride kind of thing, too, thinking I needed to spend oodles. Also, in fairness, I wasn’t organized enough to plan ahead. Whatever, I’d like to figure out how to reclaim the feeling created when giving just to give. It’s a wonderful one.

In grade nine, I went off to boarding school. A day student I met there had something I wanted – friends. She was warm and friendly, able to reach out and touch people easily. Touching was not something I could do easily, and speaking to strangers was impossible for me. Well, I watched her and learned. I was thirteen. Surely at this age, I can learn how to get my thoughtfulness back. Goal.

So I’m wishing for thoughtful hearts. “Days” aren’t all about money. The essence of celebration is the human connection. Generosity of spirit and unconditional giving isn’t about who spends the most, but rather about caring. Oh, of course, a car, a vacation, or new kitchen appliances are fantastic gifts, and if buying big ticket items brings you joy, then go for it. Many of us, however, would do better to help a neighbour trim their hedge or fix a leaky tap. Hey, there’s a great card for Hallmark. “Happy Birthday! In lieu of a gift, I made dinner for a senior and put your name on it!”

Until tomorrow…




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