Give freely and abundantly

Holiday bows

“Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”Annie Dillard 

Don’t count me among the cynics who think the holiday season is primarily a commercial enterprise.  I love the way people give each other gifts at this time of year.  Yes, there are too many dollars wasted on items bought from a feeling of obligation rather than appreciation.  But there are so many genuine expressions of love in December, when we stop and take the time to let people know how much they mean to us.  Choirs sing for us; bands pay music for us; children create one-of-a-kind artwork and people sit down to write annual updates to send to friends who are geographically far away but close in heart and memory.

Today I hope you will find some small way to join in the widespread goodwill that is there to be seen by anyone who looks for it.  Write a brief note to a faraway friend, give a sincere compliment to someone who needs it, or buy an inexpensive but useful gift for someone you appreciate, and wrap it grandly.  Joy to the world!


  1. It has been a slow but deliberate process of thinking that has led me to believe that there are adults in this world who cannot put words together. They may appreciate writings composed by other people, and then “forward” them to loved ones, but as I understand it, they are simply not wordsmiths. Similarly, I absolutely lack the ability to “wrap a gift grandly”. I am like the father of Jeff Foxworthy: he said you could always tell the gifts his Dad wrapped, himself – ” they looked like giant spitballs.”

    • Giant spitballs – how funny! I thought I had heard all Jeff Foxwothy’s stuff, but that one is new to me. Thanks for sharing it – it brought a smile!

  2. Mike Bertoglio

    Read your comment today on UR site. Can’t imagine what you are going through. Praying for you and family.

    • Thanks, Mike – prayers are how we are surviving right now!

  3. Carlyle

    Dear Julia,
    As we enjoy our 12 Days of Christmas, and look at your picture we think that you are the embodiment of the thoughts you expressed. By the way, that is the cutest knife I ever saw.

    • Thanks, Daddy – I thought you would get a kick out of it! I’m glad you are enjoying your little surprises.

  4. Amy

    “I have always thought of Christmas as a kindly time. A time when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut up hearts and think of their fellow man.” I bet you know that quote Julia!!! Merry Christmas my friend even if some of your gifts look like spit balls.

    • Amy, yes, I almost put that very quote into the blog! The part that follows it can be found in my comments to Daddy on the post that features our Christmas tree. I’m so happy to have you visit me here.

  5. whew, I was sweating over this one because I haven’t left the house at all today, but alas I did do some wrapping and this year they are tiny things with big presence, HA Razzle-Dazzle being key 😀

    • Yes, for me the suspense and opening the present is way more fun than whatever is inside. Most of us have way too much stuff anyway, so it’s fun to “go small” with the gifts and big with the decorative element! Having seen your amazing handiwork firsthand, I can just imagine your gifts are Razzle-Dazzle to the max!


  1. A state of mind | Defeat Despair

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