There once was a woman who lived in a small town. She had five children. She was a waitress with very little money. She was married but very much alone. Some days her kids would home for lunch because all she had to eat were beets, and she didn’t want them to be made fun of at school.
Yet despite being poor, the woman was always generous. She had the biggest heart in the world. Her door was always open for any woman who needed a place to stay, who needed refuge. When you have the biggest heart in the world, this is just how it is. And people around you take notice.
One year at Christmas time, the woman was shopping for gifts for her children. In one store, she saw a small slate that she knew her children would love. But the slate would have cost all that she had: five dollars. She held it in her hand for a few minutes as the thought about it, then put the slate back on the shelf. Instead she went home with five smaller gifts. That way, each child would have something to open.
Later that night there was a knock at the woman’s door. She went to open the door, but there was no one there. It was only when she looked down that she saw, in the faint light of the front step, a small bag. She picked it up, looked inside, and there was the slate.
Again she looked around in search of who left it. She stepped out to look down there street. It was dark, but when she squinted she could see the faint ouline of someone, their back as they walked away. There was no note with the gift and the woman never found out who left it.
When you have the biggest heart in the world, people take notice. Someone had seen her looking at the slate in the store. Someone knew her situation. Someone knew she had the biggest heart in the world, and was inspired to give back.
This story is not about the presents. It is about generosity. It is about giving, within your means, in whatever ways you can - and doing so without ego. It is about paying attention in our own community.
And remembering the magic of Christmas.
I know that for some the holiday season can be an extremely difficult time. If this applies to you, feel free to reach out and I will help in any way that I can. You are not alone. We all deserve to feel loved and supported, to be well fed, and to be warm.
By the way, the woman in the story was my Grandmother.
My Grandmother is missed dearly by me and my family. Cardinals remind us of her. Through them, she sings to us now.
May your holiday season be filled with love and generosity (both practiced and received) - and a little bit of magic.
From my heart to yours,
Author: Laura Burns
Healing Arts & Creative Arts. Let's inspire.