How often gifts come to our mind when we speak about giving, especially at this time of the year. However, I find that the greatest gifts are not those which are wrapped in ribbons and shiny paper, but instead come through the time we share, memories we make and experiences we enjoy together. I find that the best gifts are given without ever needing or wanting a reason to do so.

Sure, we all enjoy gifts during the holidays, and lots of us love to get just the right gift for the people we love. But what a true joy it is to receive a single rose grown from a friend’s garden for no reason, or a shoulder to cry on at the moment we needed it most, or unexpectedly running into an old friend in the street and sharing memories.

These are the gifts that make life sweet. We might not be able to wrap them, but in a sense, they are always wrapped––not in paper but in love. Always ready to receive and give even when we least expect it. Isn’t it amazing to witness the light in someone’s eyes when you have comforted them in unexpected ways? The joyful gift they gave you is so unexpected. Your compassionate heart never needed anything in return. Yet you received something priceless in a single look, a fleeting memorable moment.

Whenever possible, I search for and create situations to give. The joy of giving makes me feel much happier than when I receive. In fact, the most beautiful experience of my life involved giving much and never receiving anything in return. There are many examples of this in my own life, and I’m sure your life too. But I never become angry when I give more than I receive because I try to give for no particular reason, so I feel no obligations. That way the gift given and received is that much more joyous. When we feel obliged to give there is something that can get in the way of our generosity.

I always discover new ways to give because I find that giving heals my soul. In my opinion, the best giving comes when I share my time, feelings and patience––without any glitter or bows, wrapped in love and a generous spirit.

Give without hesitation, give without expectations. Give and feel the joy.

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