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 Giving at Christmas Time

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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 7:41 am

It’s not too early to think about Christmas - a time of giving.
Unfortunately, many don’t think of giving, but rather of receiving.

The best gift is anonymous without expecting anything in return.  The recipient knows it is special and will treasure it.  But many say I don’t have any money to give.  You don’t need money to give if you give of yourself, and that is the best gift.

Have you considered visiting a home for the elderly?  What about a children’s hospital?  Just visiting and wishing them a Merry Christmas is special.

For me, I like to make a small package of assorted goods and place the package on the doorstep of those less fortunate.  It can be canned goods, seasonal fruit or even home-baked cookies.  Delivering the package is done at night so as to remain anonymous.

When visiting those confined in a home, hospital or other, chatting with the patient is normal.  When you ask them questions about themselves, they usually ask questions about you.  You tell them you are an author.  When they want to know what you have written, you tell them.  When they ask where they can get your books, be ready to provide that information.

I never shared this, but here goes:
When I was in the hospital for my heart operation, I was somewhat of a novelty - an American in a German hospital.  They were curious as to what I did, and I told them I was a Shriftsteller (an Author).  They naturally wanted to know what I had written and I was pleased to tell them.  They I asked my wife to bring a copy of each of my books to the hospital and I placed them on my bed stand.  They wanted to know if they were available in German, and of course the answer was no.  Some wanted an autographed copy anyway.  I suppose they figured that I may someday be a famous author.  When they asked the price, I said they could give whatever they wanted as a donation.  I was surprised to get 20 Euros and one gave 50 Euros.  That’s more than double the retail price of any of my books.  The only hospital staff that spoke English were the doctors, however they were reluctant to speak English in that it may not be perfect.  That is a problem with many, especially Germans.  Unless it is correct, they don’t want to even try.  When I was uncertain about what the Doctor said to me, I asked him if he could speak English and most could.  Then I complimented them on their English. 

As for the subject of this thread about giving, perhaps others on this forum may have suggestions.
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joefrank
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joefrank

Number of posts : 8210
Registration date : 2008-11-04
Age : 71
Location : Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 8:16 am

9/24/2013

                  Beautiful story Abe, I remember in 1982 I had Gallbladder sugery, the
                   old fashion way , I was in the hospital for 21 days. I was so happy when
                  I went home but before I left the hsopital I asked them if they had a Christmas
                  party for the children and they said yes, I could bring gifts for the kids. So a week
                  later and bought 15 gifts for boys and girls, gift wrapped them, stated on the tags
                 boy or girl and delivered them, I felt happy that some children would have a happy
                 joyous Christmas....

                                                              Cheers...Joe...Very Happy
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 10:16 am

That was a good thing to do, Joe.  I'm sure the reward was a sense of satisfaction knowing you brought some joy to the kids.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 11:07 am

Christmas giving took what may seem an odd turn in our family, after the children were born.
Working at a paying job was still not "socially acceptable" for women in our community.  Many of us fulfilled that inherent need to be productive and of service by volunteering.  My mother was, for several years, on the local Salvation Army board.  One of her specific "babies" was the Christmas Toy Store, where indigent parents could come and pick out gifts to give their children for Christmas.  I worked with her  on this extensive project for several years.  The Orange Service League - a small town version of Junior League, was a partner in this service.  Each year, a member of the league held a Toy Coffee, opening her home to the public during the early Christmas Season.  The only requirement for attending was to bring an unwrapped gift for a child, and those gifts were donated to the Toy Store.  They provided a large portion, but the biggest source of supply came from the community at large, who donated slightly used toys from their own homes.  The SA also had a volunteer staff of people who were adept at repairing and restoring used toys to like new condition.

I was privileged, the first year my family lived in our "dream house" that we had worked for years to design and have built, to have our home chosen as the place for that year's Toy Coffee.  My father, whose hobby was growing prize roses, contributed a houseful (literally) of blooms from his extensive garden.  They were the talk of the day, as I remember.

But we were a privileged group, and that often made me uncomfortable.  Yes, we gave our volunteer hours and as groups, did much good, but it didn't seem enough come Christmas morning, so after some discussions with my husband, Bill, we decided together that our children needed to understand that all children were not as priveleged as they were.  When Lynn was four and Susan, two, and Dave a sparkle in my eyes, we started what would be an annual thing until the divorce and even after, as long as they were still "children".

We began by telling them that Santa Clause was an imaginary creation, that their father and I provided the gifts they received each year, but that children whose parents could not afford to buy them got few or no gifts at Christmas.  We told them about the work of the Salvation Army, and asked if hey were willing to participate.  We were glad to see that they were, so, every year, around the first of December, they went through thier toys and contributed those that they had outgrown.  They went with me to the headquarters with this enourmous box, and told the local captain, who was always present, the stories of those toys.  I still remember the year that Susan, who was only slightly taller than the box, reached in, lost her balance, and almost took a tumble, had we not been there to catch her.  We pulled her up; she was gleefully smiling as she brougjt out what had been a favorite doll, and handed it to the captain.

I don't know what they specifically remember from those years - haven't thought about them for some time, but I do know that they still have an understanding that all people are not priveleged, and that we owe something to those who are not.
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joefrank
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joefrank

Number of posts : 8210
Registration date : 2008-11-04
Age : 71
Location : Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 11:26 am

9/24/2013

                      Ann..

                               Beautiful story , great charity !

                                    Cheers...Joe...Giving at Christmas Time 973110
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 11:43 am

What Joe said.
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 2:28 pm

I dated a man who was addicted to those machines with claws that reach for little stuffed animals.  He was so thrilled when he got one, and he got them often.  He had an apartment alive with every stuffed animal in creation and those not created yet - hundreds!  One Christmas we looked around and he said enough was enough and started putting them in paper bags.  We had to make several trips but the Salvation Army does wonderful Christmas baskets and every one had a stuffed toy that year from that funny machine.  My friend said the smile remained in his heart much longer than the joy from "winning" those hundreds of toys.

I have some complaints about Salvation Army's politics - but I sure favor their charity and the lack of administrative costs.  Last I knew their highest paid executive was at 100,000 per year - and didn't take it most years.  Everyone else was barely paid or volunteered.  They save addicts and disabled and children - and feed the hungry and house the homeless - it goes on and on. 

Last winter in Florida there was a terrible cold snap.  I had lots of thick comforters that I never used in plastic bags.  One very cold night I was moved to gather them all up and head into our little town looking for the Salvation Army office that was of course closed - it was night.  But a little church was open.  I stuck my head in the door and asked if they knew anyone needing a clean, warm comforter - and they did.  My mom was visiting me.  We slept well that night knowing someone else was also warm.  I had just cleaned them all for storage.  I was so glad they were clean and new instead of cast offs. 

Giving from the smallest gesture to grandiose projects always blesses the giver.  It's a better high than drugs or chocolate.
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Charlie Moore
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Charlie Moore

Number of posts : 213
Registration date : 2008-08-06

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyTue Sep 24, 2013 2:40 pm

I was raised to believe charity is the pure love of Christ. Sums up the importance of kindness and giving.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyWed Sep 25, 2013 12:08 am

Charlie,  I believe the shortest verse in the Bible is: "God is Love".
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alice
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alice

Number of posts : 15672
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Age : 72
Location : Redmond, WA

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyWed Sep 25, 2013 7:55 am

Thanks for the reminder.  I need to get busy.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyWed Sep 25, 2013 8:13 am

Abe F. March wrote:
Charlie,  I believe the shortest verse in the Bible is: "God is Love".
Actually, it was "Jesus wept." But the sentiment is close. It occurred just as He learned that Lazarus had died, so his grief was an expression of that kind of love, and we know what His response was.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyWed Sep 25, 2013 10:49 am

Thanks Ann.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
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Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyThu Dec 19, 2013 11:31 am

As we approach the season of giving, I can’t help thinking of those who don’t have the opportunity for celebration and lack the basic things, i.e., food, clothing and shelter:
The Syrian Refugees living in tents in Jordan and in Lebanon.  The Palestinians who fled their homes to survive and were confronted with another kind of survival.  It is winter with snow in both Jordan and Lebanon.  Imagine living in a tent with no heat, having no toilet facilities and searching or begging for food.  It is amazing how people can adjust/adapt to survive.  They first adjust to the sound of gunfire and bombs.  They adjust to hunger.  Then they adjust to the stench from unclean bodies and the areas used for human waste.  Some don’t survive.  Disease is also a killer.  Medical help either is not available or in some cases is simply refused by the enemy.   All this is happening while we enjoy a home, warm clothing and food looking forward to the holidays with good cheer and other goodies. 
We have much to be thankful for.  What we give may seem small to us, but can be very big to the recipient.  Even in America, we have people seeking shelter from the cold.  Some turn to crime in the winter wanting to be arrested so they can have food clothing and shelter.
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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

Number of posts : 984
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Location : New York

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyFri Dec 20, 2013 8:00 am

Giving at Christmas Time 950944 

Ann and Abe,

"Jesus wept. God is love." What a wonderful reminder of the underpinning of Christianity at the heart of the  Christmas Holiday.

One reason I like to browse Publishedauthors.org is that I always get an encapsulated glimpse at the talent of our friends and colleagues here in even the shortest anecdotes of life stories, lessons learned,  and comments on all sorts of eclectic subjects. It is good to participate in this community of unlike-minded individuals united by a love of words. A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyFri Dec 20, 2013 11:31 pm

Counting down to Christmas with each day filled with anticipation.  I don't expect anything although I know I will get something.  My joy comes from giving.  I only wish I had more to give.  What I can do is give my appreciation and love to my family and friends.  With that I want to wish you, my adopted family and friends a very Merry Christmas with love.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12624
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptySat Dec 21, 2013 7:33 am

Right back at you, Abe.  Giving at Christmas Time 631765

_________________
Giving at Christmas Time 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Giving at Christmas Time 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Giving at Christmas Time 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Giving at Christmas Time 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Giving at Christmas Time 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Giving at Christmas Time 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptySat Dec 21, 2013 2:35 pm

The best I could do this year was one more drive to Michigan to pick up my mom (94) and drive her back to Florida.  My brother and his family are unhappy with me because I chose to drive between storms and not stay for Christmas and risk bad weather.  We didn't share presents this year which was awkward and at my statement that I wouldn't be buying presents.  I did have a little token for each family member that I did not consider a Christmas gift.

The drive was basically a safe one in both directions and my gift-giving this year is of my heart to my mom and son who can both use an extra measure.  I'll provide my church with a bonus to help those in need. That's all the energy I have.

My each of you have a great holiday season full of joy!
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
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Age : 80
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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptySun Dec 22, 2013 1:06 am

Your gift is well-received, DK.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12624
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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptySun Dec 22, 2013 2:52 pm


_________________
Giving at Christmas Time 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Giving at Christmas Time 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Giving at Christmas Time 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Giving at Christmas Time 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Giving at Christmas Time 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Giving at Christmas Time 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Giving at Christmas Time   Giving at Christmas Time EmptyMon Dec 23, 2013 6:34 am

Beautiful.  Thanks for the great music with a heartfelt message and reminder that no matter what our burdens, there are people throughout the world whose struggles each day are unimaginable. 

I firmly believe that the message of Christianity was one of love and giving - and Christmas is a great time to honor those who actually put those beliefs into action.
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