Yesterday afternoon I was zipping around the house, wrapping gifts, sealing up boxes I still needed to mail, organizing presents for Hawaii and it hit me—I felt happy.
The real happy. The happy where you smile easily and you tease with your kids and you walk with a little more energy.
And I realized it’d been a long, long time since I felt this way. A year or more. I didn’t feel “happy” during the pregnancy because I rarely felt good. And then Mac was born and while I felt grateful baby was here, I also felt lost for quite awhile. Those first seven months of Mac’s life I was just getting by but yesterday as I hummed and hustled up and down the stairs and knocked things off my to-do list, I truly felt…joyful. I also felt thankful. And lt blessed.
We can know in our heads that we’re lucky to have our family and friends, but its different when you actually feel it in your heart. And what made me ‘feel’ it was action. I did something that put me in the holiday spirit, that reminded me what the season is all about. It’s about giving. Giving thanks. Giving love. Giving hope. Giving support.
I took my boys to Toys R Us Wednesday night and we filled a shopping cart with dream toys, the kind of toys my boys put at the top of their wish list when they were younger. A massive heavy duty Tonka truck a toddler would love to push around the house. A giant box of the newest Lego. Action figures and packs of matchbox cars. And then I asked two little girls to help me pick out toys girls would love and they showed me the Disney Princess section and handed me dolls and costumes and jewelry and tea sets and hair accessories and more. Once we paid for our basket of toys we gave them all away and the minute we’d left them in the donation container, I wanted to go do it again. So on the way home we stopped at a Starbucks, visited their giving tree and took the five remaining tags and spent yesterday fulfilling those wishes. Sleeper jammies for a two year old. Ear buds for an eighteen year old. Star Wars lego for an eight year old. Mittens for a mom.
I was able to give all these gifts away because I told my kids this year we’re not exchanging lots of gifts. They’re only getting a few things from me. It’s going to be a simple Christmas. They were struggling with the idea of not being spoiled until they got to help give to someone else.
I think we can all give something–thanks, love, hope, support. Those are gifts that cost nothing. Those are gifts that everyone needs. And its funny how when we give, we get so much back.
I didn’t give the toys and mittens and jammies so I could be a saint. I did it because it felt good. I did it because it filled me with warmth and joy.
And today my heart is so full it feels like it could burst.
So let me give one more gift away here. It’s a delicious treat to warm both your belly and your heart–a red glazed mug from Starbucks, a Starbucks drink card, a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card, and three incredible Christmas novels by favorite authors Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs and Linda Lael Miller. My Good Tidings blog contest will run through Saturday night and I’ll announce the winner Sunday morning. The winner MUST get back to me by Monday night or I’m picking someone else. So share with me what would bring you joy this holiday season, or what you’re thankful for, and you’re entered. So good tidings, and love to all.
And by the way, I give thanks for you.