There were ten of us children growing up in a house in the country next to a river. We shared one bathroom until my dad had an addition built. I know we weren't wealthy by today's standards, perhaps not by any standards. I grew up with a lot of hand-me-downs, as did my other brothers and sisters. I also remember my mom and dad doing without in order to provide for us.
Each Christmas, we'd line up on the stairs in our pajamas oldest at the top to the youngest at the bottom. Dad would light up the tree and yell for us to come and see "what Santa brought". There was laughter and joy and excitement.
At some point as the years passed and when I began to shop for my mom and dad and for my brothers and sisters that I became more interested in what I was going to give to them than in what I was going to receive from them. While I didn't have much money in my pocket, I wanted to make it count, to mean something. This feeling of receiving more joy in the giving than in the receiving really hit home when my wife and I had our own children. Their joy, their excitement means more to me than anything I receive from them. I know that if I could give them the sun, the moon and the stars, I would. But I can't.
What I can give them is love. I can give them my time. I cam give them a hug and kiss when needed, along with a ear for listening. I can give them me. Perhaps the gift and giving of ourselves is really the best gift of all because it seems the more we give, the more we have and are blessed with in return.
Live your life and make a difference!