The Joy of Giving

December 6th is a special day in the German Advent tradition.
In memory of St Nicholas – a kind bishop from the Middle East – we celebrate kindness and surprise people with little gifts. For the children it is sheer joy to put out their little boots at night and find them full of nuts, clementines and candy in the morning.

I just moved into a new apartment and don’t really know anyone yet, but I still wanted to do something. So I put out little Christmas greetings in front of my neighbors’ doors. As I walked up the stairs again, I couldn’t help but smile.

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There’s greater joy in giving than receiving.
I find this to be true, especially during Advent.
It doesn’t take much, but I want to give more.
A little bit of money that isn’t mine anyway.
A little bit of what doesn’t cost any money at all.
A little smile to a fallen, sad face.
A hand for the old lady whose bags are too heavy.
A little bit of time to listen to someone’s story.
A litte bit of myself.

It doesn’t take much to bring joy to someone, may it be a stranger or a friend.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People Lover. Writer.

8 thoughts on “The Joy of Giving”

  1. One of my fondest memories from college is playing secret santa to the little kids who lived in the apartment above us. My roommate and I would make or buy little gifts and leave them on the family’s porch every morning before anyone awoke. Giving is always joyous!

    1. Hey Andrew, thanks for being such a faithful reader! I read your piece on Kate’s blog, great thoughts! You’re such an encouragement to all of us writing out there. Well, maybe even living…Have a great third advent!

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