It only takes a spark to get the fire going.
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you have experienced it
You want to sing
You feel like spring
You want to pass it on…

A few of us got together for a Secret Santa effort, divided by names and united through a common Christmas spirit of sharing. And it is in this spirit that we bring this #UnwrapChristmas blog chain to you.

I am thankful to Sujatha Singh for passing on the baton of spreading the Christmas joy and spirit.

More Blessed To Give Than To Receive

While receiving gracefully is  something that I’ve  had to learn, I’ve always believed that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I’ve felt the joy of giving more than once, even if sometimes the gifts were intangibles – in the form of listening, understanding, offering comfort and gentle nudges to spread wings.

Last year, I met after a 8 years, a young woman who had worked with me. She came to meet me laden with gifts. I was completely overwhelmed by her generosity, until I read her note that explained how grateful she was for my encouragement and support in the past. Something I had done naturally, but had obviously made a big difference to her. In that moment, even though I was receiving, I realized again the blessings of giving generously.

Growing up, Santa and new clothes were not associated with Christmas. My parents felt that there was too much focus on the commercial aspects of Christmas and they’d rather have us focus on the religious aspects. I respect their decision. Perhaps, because of that, the Christmas season doesn’t stress me out.  José and I keep it simple too, mainly focusing on giving to people in need and special home-cooked meals for the two of us. As I’ve often said, paraphrasing Mary Ellen Chase, for me Christmas is not a date, it’s a state of mind.

Despite these choices, I love giving and receiving gifts. I’ve never taken part in a Secret Santa event before, but this year, I decided to let my hair down and do that. I have been enjoying planning what gifts to send and waiting to hear back from the recipients of my gifts. I received one lovely gift from a blogger friend and it’s something I shall treasure, knowing that he picked it out with me in mind.  Just this morning I received another lovely book and have no idea who sent it to me. I love surprises and guessing. I think I have sent out more gifts than I will receive, but that’s exactly why it’s so much more fun!

I came across this post on the Good News Network and knew I had to share it with you, dear readers ! It goes to prove my experience that it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

PS: Excuse the ads – they were the price of republishing for free.

Strangers Get Happier When Asked to Give Away Gifts in Train Station-Watch

 Commuters at this train station might have expected to see a sleigh and reindeer parked outside after a jolly telephone call urges them to deliver Christmas presents to complete strangers. “The Christmas Gift Experiment” starts with a phone call from Santa – ringing from an over-sized gift box placed in the middle of the Birmingham New…

I now invite Sushmita Malakar to spread the message of Christmas and New Year on her blog.

As for you, dear reader, I wish you all the blessings of giving and receiving. Share and enjoy the gifts of the Season.

Do read the other posts on theme of #Unwrap Christmas.