It is truly more fulfilling to give than to receive

  • Spirit of the season: Nina London in San Francisco in front of the tall and stately Christmas tree in Union Square

    Spirit of the season: Nina London in San Francisco in front of the tall and stately Christmas tree in Union Square


What a special and wonderful time of the year, filled with both magic and kindness.

I love the smell of nutmeg, cinnamon and pine needles, the sparkle of decorations and flickering lights, and the love, care and warmth of the family hearth.

This is when we wait for the miracle that deep down, like children, we still believe.

During the holidays, I was staying with my mother and daughter in San Francisco.

One sunny morning, I walked through the crowded streets of the city to meet a friend.

I listened to the clanging sound of cable cars, and stopped and perused the Christmas displays in the windows of Macy’s.

There were frolicking and tumbling puppies for adoption, and, as always, I was sorely tempted, then walked wistfully on.

I stood and admired the tall and stately Christmas tree in the centre of Union Square with its glittering star, high in the pure blue sky.

I was carrying a festive, red poinsettia in my arms as a gift. I love the intense colour of these flowers that mirror the passion in my heart.

When she saw me, she ran and hugged me. “Nina! Merry Christmas!”

Her voice was musical with happiness, and I thought of the wonder of friendship renewed by the shared spirit of the season.

I saw her smile at me with shining eyes, and this simple gesture filled my soul with joy.

I knew in that instant how much more fulfilling it is to give than to receive.

“This is the easiest recipe for happiness,” I thought.

If we feel sad and want to cheer up, give a gift to another person, even the smallest one.

If we cannot think of anything, we have our love, companionship, attention, care, and help.

We can support those who are in distress. We give, they receive, and in turn, they give to another person.

It is a chain of kindness that started with the gifts of the Magi and never stops.

My dear readers! I wish you a new year filled with happiness and wonder!

I want you to be healthy and to smile more; to be in balance and harmony with your self and the marvellous world that surrounds you.

Like the three wise men, follow the shining star of your dreams, and may even your most secret and fragile hopes come true.

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Published Dec 27, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 27, 2018 at 8:07 am)

It is truly more fulfilling to give than to receive

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