Abundance is in the Eye of the Beholder!

By Irene Conlan –

There is great joy in Christmas shopping.

Oh, I know a lot of you don’t agree with me. Money is tight  – and I have just come through some very lean years after the death of my fiance and all the bills that were incurred. For several years I made the Christmas gifts I gave because there was no money (grandchildren don’t always understand that when what they want is a shiny new toy or the latest electronic gadget.) Each gift was made with love and prayers for the receiver’s well-being.

And continuing the habit, now that more funds available, I shopped with love. I was careful with my spending and did not buy foolishly.  I did most of my shopping yesterday and found that the majority of my gifts were purchased at the book store – so many great books, games, and all the etc. you could be looking for. Bookstores aren’t just for books anymore. I could have ordered everything on-line and had the gifts wrapped and shipped but that takes the fun out of it. It’s hard to fill the gift with love when you never see it. So I’m sitting in the middle of gifts, wrapping paper, tape, tags and scissors which keep disappearing. I’m wondering if I’ll get it done and mailed by the end of the day.

I had to hide what I bought for my son and grandson. I did wrap one gift for each of them and put them under the tree.  This morning I found that the paper on one of them was ripped back so the sneaky one could see the box (which held absolutely no clues as to its contents). I got a lecture from my son about getting things that are practical and my grandson just hopped around wanting to know who it was for – I didn’t put name tags on them and won’t for a few days. Each day next week I’ll add another gift or two to the pile under the tree.

It’s the love that makes the difference. It may look like a shirt, or a book or a toy to them. But to me it looks like love because that’s what I shopped with.  I shopped truly aware of each person I wanted to gift with something from me. I tried to see it through their eyes and receive it with their awareness. I’ve never shopped this way before – I’d see something I thought would work and grabbed it. This  year was different. I realize more than ever how much each one means to me.

I am grateful for those lean years because now I can appreciate more than ever the abundance I can share with my family and friends. Abundance, I have learned, is in the eye of the beholder. The bills are paid. My house is warm, My pantry and refrigerator are full. I am well as are my children and grandchildren. There’s plenty of love to go around and each day is filled with its own joy. How can I be richer than that? If I had money in every bank in town, could I really have more than this?

Yes, Christmas shopping was fun this year. Not because of the money but because of the changes  in me. I have learned how to appreciate, how to savor, and how to love more deeply. The lean times were good.

Have a lovely time shopping for those who are special to you.

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