My Mother-in-Law, Merva, who has taught many others about joy in her lifetime. And Nathaniel wearing his Christmas Duds in 2008.
For those of you who don't like my "preachy' blogs, I am giving you fair warning that this one will be full of sugar, spice and hopefully, everything nice.
The perfect Christmas Gift cannot be wrapped and put under the tree. It cannot be found in the Mall or cyber-space. You will not be able to make a bid on E-bay either.
Without bragging, I will have to say that most people really like to receive gifts from me. I wasn't always talented in the giving department, but something clicked with me during an extended bout of depression.
I learned that it wasn't so much the dollar amount of a gift that made people feel loved, but the tangible proof that they cared.
Since the grandchildren came along, I have gotten a little lax in the giving department. They seem to take a great deal of your resources. But I am not complaining. I plan on teaching them the value of being a gift to someone other than themselves.
Years ago, in Glenns Ferry, a woman named Dee owned a second hand store. She was a wonderful woman who had a heart of gold. Every year at Christmas time, she set aside an evening for the young kids to shop for gift for their parents. I can remember how excited my son and daughter were to present a gift to Werner and I that they had chosen at the "Christmas Store".
Mom and Dad would put together a goody basket every year for an old Cowboy named Glenn. He loved Mom's homemade bread and biscuits. He was a very talented person who loved horses and kids. He created some of the most beautiful leather work that you have ever seen.
What was was so amazing about his skill level was that he couldn't shave himself without several cuts, but his hands were always steady when his knife touched the leather creating wonderful designs on saddles; wallets or purses or the endless hours of braiding headstalls or bridle reins.
In 1985, I was starting over with two small children and what I could pack in my car. Duncan and Laura took me and my two children in for three weeks until we could get an apartment. I don't think that I could have made it through all the adjustments of city life, divorce and starting over if it hadn't been for Duncan and Laura's love and their unstinting support.
A willing heart is all that is required to become a person who brings joy to others. God will provide the rest. Your heart will be filled with love and the ability to hear what is not being said out loud by those who are broken inside.
Merry Christmas Everyone! You have been my gift for this year. I appreciate your friendship and support.
The Shopper Guide to Joy will mean something different for everyone. Keep turning the pages to find your name and the description of your particular Joy.