Ponderings with Doug – December 26, 2015


Larry was homeless living out of his old car and completely broke. After not eating for two days, he entered a diner and ordered a huge breakfast. After finishing, Larry lied to the owner. He said he’d lost his billfold. The owner handed Larry at twenty dollar bill, smiled and whispered, “You must have dropped this.”

Ten years later, lots of people in Kansas City who appeared to be poor were given hundred dollar bills by a total stranger around Christmas. They were told, “Merry Christmas.” For over twenty-five years this continued. No one knew the identity of this “Secret Santa” for most of those years.

Larry, the homeless man in that diner, was finally revealed as the source. Larry Stewart had started a business, became wealthy and helped hundreds of people with acts of random kindness until his death in 2007.

Larry was blessed with the gift of giving. I have met gifted givers. They know how to give the perfect gift. Even for those office gifts given at this time, these gifted givers always share something that is meaningful or sweet.

Some of us struggle with giving the perfect gift. Some of us struggle with giving a gift that is one step above “white Elephant” status. Years ago, it was time to give my first birthday gift to my bride. She is such a good bride too. She hinted about jewelry and perfume. I heard her hints and carefully noted them. For her birthday I bought her a weed eater. That was one of my best moments, too!

That began a tradition of “return gifts.” I would purchase a Christmas gift I knew was destined to be returned. I would return the gift. We would then use the proceeds of the gift to buy what she really wanted. I have given up on her “touching it three times” method of gift selection. She has stopped touching things. I now take her Christmas shopping with me. She picks out her gift, wraps it and looks surprised on Christmas morning when she opens it. I hoped to get better, but I saw no gift giving improvement in myself. I stink at it!

I did score points earlier this week with Blue Bell Peppermint ice cream.

I hope you are a gifted gift giver. You make Christmas special for those who receive your gifts. For the rest of you, I guess I’ll be seeing you in those long lines at Customer Service today.

For God so loved the world He gave. His gift was perfect. His gift was what we wanted and what we needed.