Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

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We held a small party for Kings Day this evening. Well, very small in terms of number of attendees, but very grand in the areas of ruckus making, shouts of glee, mischievousness, and all around joy and love. I should have some photos from our celebration ready to share tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking (again) about giving, and the many definitions of treasure. When we were making the crowns, Sam was digging through a bowl of treasures that I keep on my desk. It’s full of old buttons, beads, hairpins, and mismatched jewelry. Every piece is beautiful to me, but there are some that shine a little brighter. My favorite thing is a simple mother of pearl button. It’s special because it belonged to my Grandma Reese, but there’s also a quality to it that just shines, that makes it more interesting than any of the other buttons. Sam could care less about that button, but he’s in love with a small Chinese coin that came from an old earring of mine. We see the story of ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ repeated each day, at many levels.

We each have treasure to share with those around us, and our treasure is more beautiful than gold (and hopefully smells even better than frankincense or myrrh, you know, metaphorically speaking). Sometimes we forget the value of what we have to give – the value of our love, our attention, our energy, our time. And that our personal versions of intangible treasures are important.

Our Saturdays will be focused on giving this year, both tangible and intangible. I realized during December, our month focused on giving, that I wanted to be more intentional about giving consistently throughout the year, regardless of holidays or birthdays.

I also want to do more volunteer work, as a family. I was telling Sam about the idea of 26 Acts of Kindness, because I had paid for the coffee of someone in line behind us at the Starbucks drive through. His first reaction was so typical, “You shouldn’t give away our money!” We talked it through, and I explained that I wanted to do something nice because the lady in the car behind us looked so stressed out, and that we would still have plenty of money. Clearly it’s a conversation that needs to continue. I understand that young kids are naturally egocentric, but I want to be sure that we raise kids who are able to show empathy and who are able to share their own gifts with the world.

Since our current focus is on family meals, we’re going to look for some giving and volunteer opportunities that involve food and connecting with others.

Have you done any giving or volunteer work like this? How were you able to integrate your own unique talents? If you have kids, how were you able to include them?

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2 thoughts on “Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

  1. Hi Elise, In the past, when we would shop for groceries, we would include things to buy for our local food pantry on a regular basis–haven’t done that in awhile–will start to do that again, thanks to your post. A friend of mine volunteered with her daughter’s Girl Scouts troop at Ronald McDonald house, making a meal for families staying there. I did a quick search and found there may be an opportunity for you to do that near you: http://www.ronaldhouse.org/meals.html
    Going along with your theme of buying an order at Starbucks for someone, I thought of this story we recently saw on CBS Sunday morning (By the way, they have many interesting stories we often share with S–you may want to share this short piece with Sam) –goes along with 26 acts of Kindness, too : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3fSaRrlEDs As you know, I’ve done the fun doughnut giveaways, on National Doughnut Day, in the past, inspired by The Beckoning of Lovely. Maybe even donating food to a pet shelter?? Hope some of these idea/stories/suggestions are helpful in your mission to give.

    Thanks for the thoughtful conversation on giving!

    • Thank you Lisa – all excellent ideas! We have a big Ronald McDonald house here in Denver, so that could be a really good option. Thank you for sharing the clip about Jayden Lamb. I hadn’t heard his story yet – so beautiful and touching.

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