This story reminds us that no matter how bad off we think we are, there are others in greater need. And nothing reflects the spirit of Christmas more than someone who gives to others even when they have very little themselves. Dorothy from North Carolina wrote:
“It's been a few years ago now that through an unusual set of circumstances I met a dear Christian lady named Hilda N-----. Hilda had endured many hardships in life…Now, in her later years… she lived in abject poverty with…crippling arthritis. It was Christmas and I had a gift for Hilda. Mark and I were dating at the time and I asked him to go with me to Hilda's humble home… But it wasn't my gift that I've remembered all these years...it was HER gift, given liberally out of her poverty, that I will never forget.
She and I had exchanged gifts, her gift to me a small ceramic bell with a cross at the top from the dollar store. And then came the moment I cherish yet today. She looked at Mark apologetically and reached down into the cushion of the chair…fumbling until she finally retrieved a small, zippered change purse. Her gnarled, misshapen fingers (terribly twisted from the arthritis) moving slowly and with painful effort, she managed to open the purse… Finally, she turned to Mark and, pulling out a folded, crumpled $1.00 bill, she held it out to him.
Her soft, quiet voice and loving manner gave eloquence to the gesture. ‘I didn't know YOU were coming so I didn't have a gift for you. Here’, she handed him the dollar bill, ‘Merry Christmas.’
Tears sprang to my eyes as I knew what a sacrifice was represented in the giving of the dollar bill. Her heart of love and her desire to share the little she had gave her gift more meaning than a purse full of gold.”
Thank you, Dorothy, and Hilda, for reminding us that Christmas isn’t about what we get, it’s about what we give.