You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
Time and age had slightly stooped her shoulders. Still, her silver hair and skin radiated in the afternoon sun. Tall and sturdy, he had a powerful gait, reminiscent of a long ago cowboy.
My quaint neighborhood lends itself to walkers and bicyclists that create a consistent flow of traffic. Nearby, I observed this elderly couple tote a wooden table and a huge pile of cuttings atop a rusty radio flyer. Fascinated, I watched as they reached the corner, turned the table upright and he unloaded the cuttings wearing thick, yellow work gloves. They placed two signs on either side of the table. As they began the short walk back to their home, I overheard him offer to give his precious wife a lift in the wagon. With a mere wave of her hand, she declined as they walked together. A few minutes later, they were gone.
Curiosity arose within me as I left my porch to take a closer look at what this couple had left behind. On the two homemade signs were painted these words, “Free Holly – Merry Christmas!”. I stood there smiling. What a genuine act of kindness these cheerful givers were offering to every busy person passing by.
As the days have past, I have joyfully witnessed dozens of grateful folks gathering holly for their mantels, wreaths and packages. The bright red berries symbolize the holiday spirit. And each evening, this sweet couple replenishes the table with fresh cuttings.
I have gotten to know these two new friends, he is 91, she is 89. They share this gift every year with others as he climbs his eight foot ladder and cuts clippings from their huge holly bush, sharing their abundant blessing with all. Their generous hearts are a dear Christmas present to me, a tremendous sight I will fondly remember. Their smiles are genuine, their spirit of giving so authentic. The holly is lovely on my mantle this year and the memory of the experience is one of my most treasured gifts of the season!