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“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

            ~Mother Theresa

  Christmas season is a time when every street is filled with shoppers, every kitchen is filled with home-cooked meals, and every home is filled with families. Within this rush, do we really feel the spirit of Christmas? Christmas is supposed to be all about love, giving and celebration, right? Do you use the holiday season to show your loved ones that they truly mean something to you? Do you give to receive or do you give, just to give?

To receive a gift brings pure joy to a life. Giving a gift should bring even more joy to the person who gave it. But just what brings that joy? What good is giving a gift that has no love given with it? Would you rather give a hundred empty gifts, or a gift that is given with much love behind it?

A few years ago, I received a gift that I will never forget. Because there was so much love and thought to the gift, I will always remember the details of when I received it. I was on a mission trip in Detroit, Michigan. I was serving a woman who lived her life, only to serve those around her. On the last day of our trip she wanted to give each of us something little in order to thank us. She took me into her office and gave me a Russian stacking doll that included six of the same doll, just different sizes. When I received the doll, she explained the meaning of it through God. She said that the littlest one represents me, the 2nd one signifies the activities that I involve myself with, the 3rd one reflects my interests, the 4th one exemplifies my friends and family, the 5th one symbolizes my problems and fears and the last one, the largest one is God. God will protect my whole life and will be involved in every aspect of my life.

This gift would not mean much to me if it didn’t have the love and reasoning behind it. If I were to give this doll to someone without explaining what it means or why I gave it to them, they would not think anything of it. But because it was given to me with such love and thought, it remains close to my heart and my favorite gift that I have ever received.

Giving is more than just buying a present for someone and wrapping it. It takes much thought and consideration. This advent season, I challenge you to focus on giving gifts the right way. Rather than focusing on yourself during the time of exams, turn your thoughts towards others and put thought and love into the gifts you give.

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Gabbi is a first year theology major from Dayton, OH. She comes from a family of UD Graduates…Go X!