Monday, December 05, 2011

The Giving Tree

I had no idea that I married such a generous, giving man. 

I mean, I knew he was generous and giving; I just didn't realize HOW truly charitable he was! 

I have soooo much to learn from him!  No wonder God selected him as my life-mate!

Our church has a "giving tree" in the lobby, where parishioners are asked to take a construction paper ornament, buy the requested gift item written on the tag, and then wrap and return it.

Normally, I just take one.  Or, if I'm feeling generous, maybe two.  But most often, it's just one.  I should leave some for other people to take, right?  That was my usual excuse.

I admit it:  I often look at all the tags and choose one that has something that I know I can find easily and inexpensively. 

Gloves, for example, I can pick up when I'm at the grocery store, and they're usually cheap.

What a miserly, bah-humbug way to view giving.  Please forgive me, Lord.

Michael's heart is soooo much bigger.  I watched him as he joyfully took TWENTY tags from the giving tree. 

And he chose the gifts that excited him.  He chose the ones that were pricey and would need some scouting-out to find. 

Most of the gifts, like a high-tech telescope for an 11-year-old boy, he found on  But yesterday, we went to shopping to buy even more.  He was so excited to go shopping for these people he doesn't even know.   His heart is so pure!

We bought the children's toys together, then separated so that he could select the clothes for the men and I could select the clothes for the women.  With our shopping cart full, we made our way to the checkout line.  Michael didn't even flinch when the total price came up on the screen.  He was happy to make Christmas happen for families in need.

As we walked out of the store, Michael suggested that we save money by not buying anything further for each other for Christmas.  He suggested that our Christmas gifts to each other this year could be the act of giving to the less fortunate. 

What a beautiful gift to receive this Christmas!  I am receiving the gift of a man's pure heart!  And I am challenged to give him back the same thing from myself!

When we got home, we wrapped all the gifts together.  Thanks to Michael's good example, I began to think outside of the box that usually frames my sense of generosity.   I went to my jewelry box and selected a Miraculous Medal necklace and a Miraculous Medal bracelet which I placed into a tiny purple velvet satchel and slipped into a pair of size 10 women's sneakers.