Yesterday while I went through my email notifications I came upon an odd one. It was an alert that my package would be delivered today. I was confused as I hadn’t ordered anything. Checking, but only because it was sent to me, with my name not some generic occupant greeting, I saw that it weighed very little. There was no other readily available information so I had no idea what it was or who had sent this mystery package…if there was a package. mentioning it to my son and on social media only earned me a LOT of don’t open that, its a scam warnings. I am thankful that others are concerned enough to warn me, but I still wasn’t finding out much. The memory of all those mystery seed packets did come to mind.
This morning I woke early wondering how cold it got and feeling the house cooling as the fire in the wood stove burned low. I got up, stumbled through the house and saw that all the wood on the front porch was too large to put in the stove and hope the fire would build back. So out into the cold morning I go for smaller wood. The fire fueled, and Molly showing no signs of needing to go out yet, I went back to bed. On my mind were those folks I saw Saturday night sleeping in bus shelters in Charlotte. Hoping they found something better for the cold night. By the time I did finally get up to stay I wasn’t thinking too much about the mystery package. I had more important concerns. I have no canned cat food. I did have dry and of course the not so strays were happy to get that,but I’ve noticed they are still waiting.
After I had been up and about for over an hour, Molly decided she needed to go outside. Bella watched her go out and promptly took Molly’s spot on the dog bed. I poured another cup of coffee and scrolled through social media seeking inspiration and signs of good things among us humans. Then, Molly began alert barking. Bella jumped up and wanted outside, forgetting or not caring that she was inside her barking quickly became agitated and loud. A big delivery truck had driven down the dirt road and backed into the parking area for the apartments across from me. The bushes along my drive blocked my vision as to if they were coming here. By the time I saw the delivery person, they were most of the way to the house and Molly was going insane. The driver was safe as Molly was and is inside a fence. I hurried outside, managing to keep Bella from escaping and accepted the package. The driver smiled, nodded and went on their way.
Once back inside I checked the name on the package, yep, that’s me. I opened it to find a shirt with the word Jeep emblazoned across the front. I checked the packaging several times inside and out and there is nothing telling me where or who it is from. The mystery package that became the mystery gift that for now remains a mystery.
By now you’re possibly thinking, that’s all well and good, but…your point?
My thoughts on gift giving.
While it is wonderfully heartwarming to see the face of the one we give a gift, especially if it is something liked, there is something better. Giving to those who will not know where it came from. They won’t be able to personally say thank you, but there are no feelings of obligation. You can do this through any variation of secret santa methods or you can donate through many important charities.
The Jeep group/ family that I am a part of has taken on a group called Least of These Carolinas. It is a foundation that takes care of kids in foster families. Through toys yes, but with other needed items as well. They also support Love Like Lauren which is a foundation for children and their families who are battling cancer.
That’s only two. There are so many groups out there who are doing their best to help those in need. Food pantries, shelters for the homeless or those escaping domestic abuse. There are groups who have drives for needed items during winter. Groups that are there for those with mental illness, suicidal thoughts, chemical dependence. Toys for Tots. The list is endless because the needs are endless.
To be able to give to an individual or to a charity, where you know you are helping take care of a need, should warm the heart greatly. Of course you want to give to family. You want to see their smile, get that thank you hug, know they appreciate your thinking of them. Imagine how the person, who will probably never meet you, feels when they receive the help, the coat, the food, the shelter, they need because of your gift. It may be small, size really doesn’t matter. A single pair of gloves will warm a pair of hands making a difference for one.
But, you’re thinking, I really don’t have a lot of money, things are tight for us as well. The gift of your time means a lot as well. To volunteer at a charity. To help serve food to the homeless. To help a child learn to read. To check on a neighbor. To share your time, acknowledging that no matter who an individual is, or the circumstances they find themselves, are worthy to be acknowledged.
There are many ways, that we can give a gift. A kind word, a gentle smile. Opening a door, getting an item from a place on a shelf that an individual can’t reach. Drop a dollar in a bucket, into an open palm, in an envelope to a deserving charity.
Those mystery gifts, they are gifts of the heart, not the wallet. They are the ones that mean the most and carry the most warmth.