In June of this year, I held a text message conversation with a 587-year old magical Christmas elf named Bernard. Bernard, in case you did not know, is Santa’s Lead Toy Builder. Hermie and all those other toy-building elves we see on Rudolph are not real. Bernard is very real and looks like an 11-year old girl. Bernard also lives in a castle. It just happens to be the castle I helped build 4 years ago as part of an Extreme Makeover build.
I joyfully entertained the imagination of the 11-year old girl, Hannah (aka: Bernard.) You see, she had never spoken to me in the years I have spent building a friendship with her family. She was always the shy observer. Always present, but never participating in conversation. Conversing with her and reading her words across my screen, was better than reading any Christmas card. It was an unwrappable gift.
I finished writing a book this year. Whoa! Wait a minute. I have to let that sink in. Having the talent to write and the courage to announce that I am a writer is truly, a gift from God. Some people have even bought my book, I’M IN. A few hundred people downloaded my book when I made it available for free. I am humbled by the number of “Secret Santas” who have had an interest in my writing. Your time and interest are unwrappable gifts.
Hannah’s older sister, Jacqueline, gave me the gifts of her photographic talent. She took hundreds of pictures for a potential book cover and the headshot that I currently use in my “branding.” She shared her creativity with me. She later shared with Cathy and me, the news of her engagement before she told “everyone else.” There was no pretty bow I could untie from her kindness. It was an unwrappable gift.
I looked for a lost dog named Shadow, who had been on the run for 6 weeks. He endured a Hurricane and a Nor’Easter. I built him a shelter in the woods. I later found him in my shelter. He looked angelic, resting his weary body, in my “manger.” Seeing the reunion between Shadow and his owners was better than any Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. It was an unwrappable gift.
Shadow was not delivered home by Fed Ex or UPS. Although, a UPS driver spotted him on the side of the road. The driver interrupted his delivery route. He called the dog’s owners and took the time to give them details of when and where he had seen Shadow. His thoughtfullness gave a community hope. It was an unwrappable gift.
Hannah’s older brothers helped me look for another dog, Lilo, who had been missing for 3 weeks. Lucas told me, “So this is what Being Kind, Being Thankful, and Being Significant is all about.” Hearing my words, my motto, come out of a young man’s mouth was sweeter than any candy cane. However, the sound of Lilo’s bark and the rattle of the cage she was safely (and humanely) “trapped” in was more pleasing to hear than a Christmas carol. Those sounds were unwrappable gifts.
I started this blog in the Summer. The analytical numbers indicate I have just a handful of followers. The compliments I receive are genuine. Family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers encourage me. They tell me, “we need your words… you inspire me… please keep writing…” Their support is an unwrappable gift.
I have been blessed by God, my famly, my community, my friends (existing and new relationships), and by you, my followers and my supporters. Your gifts do not fit under a decorated tree. Our lives should not be about celebrating a SEASON of joy. We should learn to find happiness everyday. We need to find beauty and wonder in the mundane. Look for “gifts” all around you.
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.