The reference conjures up the three wisemen bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. Or perhaps the story by O. Henry of two great lovers who sacrificed their greatest possession for each other. Either reference is appropriate if the end result is ruminating about selfless giving. The kind of giving that asks for nothing in return. The kind of giving one makes anonymously.
This is the kind of giving that brings wholeness to your soul, if only for those moments. It is what I enjoy the most about Christmas. Quite honestly, I find more pleasure purchasing gifts for the Angel Tree family than I do my own children. I don’t intend for that to sound harsh. But it is simply a matter of means. My kids will receive more than their share of toys and clothes and books, etc. More than they need and more than they should get. But it will happen because our family has the means to make it so. Whereas my Angel Tree family does not. If it were not for me, they would get nothing. That is why its more rewarding. I suspect in my own mind that they will cherish their gifts. And my kids, God bless them, will not play with half the toys they receive within the next few weeks.
While it may seem odd that I am bringing up Christmas gifts well past New Years. It just so happens that’s when the Magi decided to give this year.
You see, after I returned from Christmas with my family in Illinois, I had a rough couple of days. I had to send the kids away Christmas morning to spend the week with their father. It was also during this week that I opened my mailbox to find a letter from Santa Claus addressed to me. Inside was a Christmas card and two gift cards. One was to Walmart for $100 and the other to Massage Envy for $50. The card wasn’t signed. The only writing was a note at the top stating the enclosures, calling out the massage specifically for me.
What a great surprise! I was excited and puzzled. There was a return address from a city nearby, but I didn’t recognize it. Funny, I thought, someone is getting cute. Perhaps it was my girlfriend. She’s the only person I know from that city. But her husband has been laid off for months and her hours were cut. After our lengthy conversation I knew for sure it wasn’t her. So I started a little investigation. Googling and Map Questing led me to nothing except a city and county disagreement. Twitter and Facebook also came up nil. Who? Why? It was somewhat frustrating. I can honestly say that I’ve never been on this end of the gift giving process. I’m a person who likes to be in the know. And then slowly I began to realize the situation for what it was… an anonymous gift. My magi gift.
It’s been one of the hardest year of my life. In many ways even harder than the year the twins were born at 27 weeks. And that was very hard. If you read this blog you will know I’ve survived abuse, divorce, 2 moves, a family death and a broken arm. It certainly hasn’t been my best year. And while I’ve tried to remain positive about starting over in a new life with a new found faith, I have also had moments that were filled with deep despair and true sorrow.
Realizing that someone cared enough to reach out to me this way was overwhelming. Certainly I am not in need the same as others. And it wouldn’t have mattered if the gift cards were for $10. A random act of kindness such as this is heart warming and humbling. It’s amazing that someone would think of me. Maybe they don’t know me. Maybe they do. I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. It’s about cherishing my gift because of the meaning behind it. This gift is about selfishness. It’s about loving strangers. Showing kindness and compassion to others. It’s a gesture of God’s goodness. It’s proof there are angels. It’s a reminder that we all need to look out for each other. Pay it forward. Always.
Thank you Magi!