Monica J. Griffith

Here we are in the first week in December and much of the conversation revolves around gifts to buy and give. Just yesterday, I talked to my eldest son to get ideas for his younger brother. And the week prior, I sent a text to my granddaughter with an idea of what she could buy for her dad. I’ve bought the ‘no more than $10.00’ gift for a luncheon and I’ve started a list of ideas for my best friend. The stores and on-line continue to bombard us with super-saving-sales and the Big Toy book is already well worn with children thumbing through to point out at least one gift-getting idea per page! Yes, it is December and everyone is focused on what to give and hopes of what they will get.

I could never understand why it was so hard for my parents to tell me what they wanted for Christmas (or birthdays or Mother’s/Father’s Day). Well, that is until I added a few decades to my ‘how old are you’ answer! And now, as yet another birthday for me approaches, I think I finally get it. It really isn’t about the object or article I receive, it is about the person on the other end of the package.

Oh, the things I receive are wonderful and I appreciate the thought, time, effort and expense that goes into the giver selecting and presenting these things for me. I know that when I select something for someone else, I think about how it might surprise and please them. I get warm inside thinking about the other person’s reaction and hope it will warm their heart and make them smile.

And that is what it is about – – wearing the smile someone else gave me through their kindness and thoughtfulness. I think that is what my parents were trying to teach me. It really is the thought that counts!

I see this now, with my 96 year old Mother, who really has no want for anything. She is in relatively good health, has a wonderful apartment with very caring and loving health professionals to support her. She has lovely friends in the complex and they are all very concerned about each other. She has a nice wardrobe that we freshen with the seasons. So, what can I get her? What will warm her heart? What will bring her smile?

Do you know what it is? I do! It is the same for nearly everyone – it is the “You Matter” gift. For my Mother, it is the schedule phone call each week and the spur-of-the-moment, out-of-the-blue, just-because phone call. It is the card that says ‘just wanted to say hi!’ It is remembering and sharing special moments of times gone by. It is the thought – knowing someone is thinking of you, cares for you and wants you to wear their smile.

What ‘You Matter’ gift have you received? Which have you given? What is the next you’ll give? Don’t look now…but are you smiling? You wear it well!