Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

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Christmas usually involved smiling, laughter, opening gifts, playing with toys and lots and lots of eating.  Well, I have one particular memory that stands out for a different reason.  I saw angels.

You see, I was raised by a single mom, hard working woman who had to deal with an athletic oldest son, nerdy middle child (that would be me) and a nonchalant baby girl with the occasional naughty streak.

One Christmas morning, we awoke to find the tree didn't have any of the "surprise" gifts that always showed up Christmas morning.  Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.  I wondered who the heck would come by at such an early time.  Seriously, it was like 5 or 6 in the morning :-)

When my mom opened the door, a family stood there loaded with gifts, a bike and they beamed...surrounded by a halo of joy.  We didn't know them.  They didn't know us.  But we were connected by their desire to do something for another family.  None of us kiddos knew it, but mom had taken our letters to Santa and sought out help because she knew she couldn't do it on her own for once.  We were in awe.  The giving family grinned, filled with excitement and giddiness.  It was like they were high on giving.  That stuck with me.  I was probably 9 or 10 at the time, but I learned that day how the joy of giving is a GIFT itself...probably why giving is something special for me to this day

As part of the 12 Days of Christmas, I'd like to give a book to one lucky winner, a kindle edition of The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.
Click here for the blurb on this wonderful novel
So, I'm curious, what does giving mean for you?

23 comments:

  1. That's a beautiful story.

    Giving means making the other person smile. It warms your insides like nothing else.

    Merry Christmas, Angela.

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  2. That's such a heartwarming story Angela...definitely angels.

    I've always enjoyed the giving more than the receiving. In fact it's tradition in my family for only one person to open at a time, which when everyone is together can take all morning, LOL. There's nothing like seeing that other person's smile and knowing you put it there.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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  3. Thank you Raelyn and Maria. I've learned so much more about the beauty and joy in giving as I've grown older. It really is a joyous thing.

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  4. It's a cliche, of course, but it really is more fun to give than receive.

    Merry Christmas.

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  5. True, LD. But that's a great cliche to live by.

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  6. What a wonderful story. I think when you reach the point where you're more excited to give than to get, Christmas becomes more enjoyable on a different level.

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  7. Beautiful story. It always makes me happy to hear stories like this that proves that humanity still has good to it.

    I'd love to win a copy of the book you're giving away. How do I enter?

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  8. How wonderful! Those people really were angels.
    Giving really is the best part. My greatest joy Christmas morning is watching my wife open her gifts.

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  9. CN - I totally agree. I think I first experienced that feeling when my daughter had her first Christmas. Giving to her felt like pure joy.

    Misha - Thanks for asking. I've added a caption to the 12 Days of Christmas button. Sorry about that.

    You sooo rock, Alex.

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  10. What an incredible story, Angela. So moving. You're right, most times the giving is even better than the getting! :)

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  11. you learned early what many people never learn!
    you're a sweetheart!

    happy holidays to you=)

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  12. Susanna - As much as I enjoyed getting the gifts that year, I am still awed to this day at the joy that family exuded.

    Thank you, Tara. The lesson of the blessing in giving is one I'm glad I started learning early.

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  13. I love your memory! What a wonderful way to learn about it. And you're right. As fun as getting was when we were little, I like giving so much more.

    I'm listening to "Clockwork Angel" on my iPod right now and have already downloaded "Clockwork Prince". Can't wait.

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  14. This is a beautiful, heart-warming story, Angela. Christmas is a special time of the year and it is so important to give to those in need. My church and my kids' school always have the giving trees. We participate in the program trying to bring a bit of happiness to those in need :-)

    I've read Clockwork Angel and really liked it. The second book in The Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Prince, is available now and I'm going to get it soon on my Kindle!

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  15. I loved The Clockwork Angel, Donna. So I was excited about The Clockwork Prince coming out.

    Angela OP - we were young so I don't know what exactly my mom did. She told us the bare minimum. That family just seemed like God's angels as far as I was concerned, glowing, happy beings with lots of love pouring from their hearts.

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  16. That's a lovely memory to have. I enjoy seeing the smile of pleasure on the recipient's face.

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  17. Beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it. To me, giving means to give something without expecting anything in return.

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  18. Wow, what an awesome story and memory to have! I bet it was one of the best christmases ever, if not the best.

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  19. What a wonderful story. The best gifts are the unexpected ones. Sometimes when we expect gifts or when were expected to give gifts, it's never as enjoyable.

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  20. Shelley - I've learned more and more how much joy I can derive when I give to others.

    Jenna - You make a wonderful point. Giving without expecting anything in return is true giving from the heart.

    Sarah - It was certainly one of my more memorable Christmases for sure.

    Clarissa - I wonder if it's the expectation that changes the dynamic in the giving?

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  21. I like to help anyone less fortunate than me. I don;t let a lot of things I do be known. I just do them as I'm inspired and let the good Lord above keep score.

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  22. That's a beautiful story, and I totally believe that the joy of giving might have been more amazing than even the joy of children with new bikes!

    I have Clockwork Prince on my Kindle, but I admit, I've been afraid to open it. I'm worried it's going to make my own manuscripts look weak and pitiable by comparison. :~D

    Maybe I'll get brave tonight and peek inside!

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  23. Stephen - That's the neat thing about giving. No need to shout from the mountain tops for man's recognition.

    Dianne - I'm sure your manuscript is a joy to read, even when compared with Clockwork Prince. Afterall, your writing style may be much more appealing than you know.

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