Sunday, December 11, 2011

Have You Hidden Your Gifts?

Christmas gifts.Image via WikipediaThere's a lot of talk in the Christmas season about gifts.  Making a wish list of gifts, shopping for gifts, giving gifts, opening gifts... Last year I was given a gift wrapped in gorgeous paper tied up with an extravagant bow full of feathers and sparkly things.  I shook the present and carefully felt the weight of it,  all the while trying to figure out what treasure it might hold inside.  I thanked the person who gave it to me and assured them it was certainly a lovely gift and I would open it soon.  Not that day, because I didn't really have time, but some day soon, I promised the giver that I would open the gift.  I put the gift away, fully intending to open it but after a while, I forgot about the gift and only recently just about a year later, I found it hidden away on a shelf.  I almost opened it when I discovered it, but decided it was probably too late and how would I ever thank the person for the gift now? So reluctantly and sadly, I put it back on the shelf.  Maybe next year, when I have time to unwrap it and send a belated thank you card explaining the oversight, I'll do something about it but right now... well I'm busy with a lot of other urgent things.  Sound familiar?  Of course not!  Who neglects to open a gift for a whole year, never mind decides to wait even longer to see what is inside?  Yet this is exactly how we often treat our own gifts and talents.

There is a story of a miser who had a valuable bag of gold coins and in order to keep them safe, he kept them buried in the backyard.  Every once in a while he would dig up the coins, marvel at his great treasure, then carefully bury them again.  One day a thief, followed him to the secret hiding place and after the owner left, he quickly dug up the treasure and stole away with it.  The owner was despondent over his loss.  A friend to console him told him, "Just bury a bag of fake gold.  You can easily dig it up periodically and marvel over it just as you did the real gold.  For all the good the bag of gold did you, a bag of fake gold will do just as well."  Seems like a heartless comment doesn't it?  But doesn't it ring true?"

Amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, take time to reflect on your true gifts and how you are using them.  Are you hoarding them?  Are you wishing that you had time and energy to develop them?  Do you recognize what they are? Or, have you developed them and put them to use for yourself, for your community, for the world?


  1. So true. It's a perennial goal of mine to manage time better in order to do all things on my mental to-do lists!

  2. What great reflections. The greatest gifts are the immaterial ones and the ones that we can pass on to others. The greatest gifts that I've received from others and try to pass on myself, are compassion, love and patience :)

    Loved this post!

  3. Great post about recognizing our gifts and developing them. Thanks to Corinne for your link.

  4. One of my favorite themes - developing and using your real gifts and talents. We don't need to be about wasting the unique abilities God has given us.
    Wonderful post, Lynne!
    Oh, and, you have me wondering what is in that package . . . :)

  5. Great post! Please link it in to my Smiley Sociology Study #11. The theme this month is gifts. :-) I'm on my phone right now or I'd leave a more direct link... there is a link on my home page in a widget 2nd down on the right.

    I don't think I've ever forgotten to open a gift, but I've failed to say thank you and felt bad about it. Gift giving (and receiving) is an art. :)

  6. @Corinne... Thanks!
    @Margaret... I have finally learned to set priorities instead of goals... I'm getting more of those gifts opened!
    @Jessica-The older I get, the more I appreciate gifts that share something of the giver, rather than material things.
    @Janu and sulekkha---thanks for stopping by
    @Martha---I guess we'll never know the contents of the gift....
    @Rachel---I'm looking up your link now! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Lynne, this is a great post! Each year people want bigger and more expensive gifts. It is so sad.

  8. So very true. Thank you for this.

  9. You got me with this one! I was reading and thinking, "Who the heck would forget to open a gift?!!" Good metaphor.

  10. I was wondering who it was! Nice post

  11. So true Lynne. We often forget what we have in our busy life. It is always humbling to ponder and think about all the gifts we are given in our life. Thank you for sharing this

  12. Some circumstances in our lives do make us forget our true gifts. We need to often pause, reflect and count our blessings...not our troubles. Nice post :-)

  13. @Nelieta--thanks for the compliment!
    @Jan--thanks for stopping by
    @Lolamouse--Gotcha! It was difficult to keep the charade going because it is so ridiculous!
    @Rimly---It has taken me too long to recognize my own talents!
    @luchissmiles--I agree totally1

    Thanks for all the comments!