I didn't know his story, didn't ask what he meant, who he would be giving a man's ring and coat to, or if he just meant for himself. But I do know that even as my friends and family opened their fabulous gifts from me on Christmas morning, that guy was all I could think about.
I changed that day, almost imperceptibly perhaps. But the seeds that my parents had planted about the nature of giving took root. It would take a while for me to really get why they would only allow me to focus on what I wanted to give for Christmas rather than what I hoped to get, and why they would send me to school each year on my birthday with a beribboned roll of pennies for each child in my class.
I am so profoundly grateful for those lessons. Giving and sharing — of my time, talents and treasure — have brought me so much boundless joy over the years and given me a deep appreciation for what I do receive. One of my constant wishes for the people I love is that they grasp the great blessing that is giving and shift their perceptions about the holidays and life in general.
You folks and your colleagues are a conduit for that shift among your donors. That's part of why you have my continued respect and admiration. Thank you for what you do. It matters. In so many ways. From the FS family to yours ... Merry Christmas, Blessed Solstice and Happy Holidays.