23 Dec 2014

Give In The Currency That You Have

Author: Hally Loe | Filed under: Animals, Blog, New-age, Personal growth, Self-help, Spiritual growth, Test

I posted this story last Christmas, but I have had a lot of requests to post it again this Christmas. So, here it is.

I want to tell you a story – a true story – a story of my most memorable and meaningful Christmas. A Christmas in which I experienced the true spirit of Christmas more than at any other time in my life.

Have I mentioned that musicians are not always the most well-paid artisans in the world? Well, sadly, it is true. And one Christmas, several years ago, I found myself in a situation of complete financial embarrassment. I was broke. Totally. I had no concerts or gigs scheduled, and my part-time job doing respite care for a woman with Altzheimer’s was ended. I couldn’t pay my bills, let alone buy Christmas presents for my family.

Now, I LOVE Christmas, and I LOVE giving presents, and I LOVE my family. And I simply could not imagine a Christmas without being able to give them presents. My daughter, Joy, is married and lives in Florida. And just after Thanksgiving of that year, we talked on the phone and she told me that she was sending me a large package with numerous presents for Christmas. With enough tears to drown me, I told her how broke I was and how sad I was that I would not be able to give her presents for Christmas. “So please”, I begged, “Don’t send me anything. It will make me feel so bad.”

And, as she has done many, many times in my life, my daughter made me so proud. She said, “Mom, you are the one who taught me that we give in the currency that we have. I have money this Christmas, and you have other gifts to give. I know that you will find a way to give them.”

Well, see what I mean? Her message and wisdom were right on. I have to admit that, although I knew what she was saying to be true, at the time, my main focus was on bringing in some dough. So, I came up with an idea, and I called the events coordinator at the local Mall. I told her that I would play in the Mall on weekends during the Christmas season, for free, if I could just sell my CD’s. Of course, it was a win-win situation, because she had to find entertainment, and her budget was also hurting. So, every Saturday and Sunday during the month of December, I drove the 90 plus miles to the Mall, set up my sound system, and played for 8 hours. And, each day that I played, I completely soaked up the wonderful Christmas energy that floated around the mall. Children would come up to me and dance and sing along with my music. Adults would sit for hours, resting their shop-weary feet, and listen to the music while they did so. All of us shared the same thing. The Christmas spirit. And, I sold a ton of CD’s. Enough to pay my bills for the month, and then some. What a blessing! But, I digress.

Every morning when I arrived at the Mall, I would call Security, and they would send one of the mall janitors to meet me at my car with a large cart, upon which we carried my sound system into the mall. Then, at night, after I had played for the day, I would call Security again, and they would send the janitor back to me, with the same cart, to help me get my equipment back out to my car. The same janitor always responded to the call, and soon we became friends. He was a jovial, kind man, who always had an encouraging or complimentary word for me. He always told me how much he loved my music, and each day, as we would cart my sound system in an out of the mall together, we would chat about various things. I thought that he was the nicest man, and I enjoyed our short visits each day. One day, he brought his wife and his 2 daughters to the mall to hear my music. He introduced them to me, and they sat for half the day, listening to me play. When they left, they hugged me and expressed how much they loved my music.

On the last Sunday before Christmas, my new janitor friend was helping me out to my car as usual, and I off-handedly asked him if he was ready for Christmas. Instead of responding with a joke or a hearty laugh, as he usually did, he said nothing. I looked at him closely and saw that there were tears in his eyes. I asked him what was wrong, and he told me that this was the first Christmas that he could not afford to give his wife and daughters Christmas gifts. He told me of some devastating medical bills that had resulted from an emergency surgery that he had had a few months before, and that he was wiped out financially. Well, boy, could I relate!

So, when we got to my car, I reached into my CD box, and brought out a handful of CD’s. I said, “Here. Give one of these to your wife and each of your daughters and there are a few extra to give to anyone else you like for Christmas.”

He said, “No, no, no! I can’t accept these! I wouldn’t feel right!”

And I said, “You know what, I know how you are feeling this Christmas. I am in the same situation. I’m broke too. My only saving grace is that I got this opportunity to play in the mall and sell my CD’s. I couldn’t even afford to give my own daughter Christmas presents this year, when she was giving me a ton of them. But, as she reminded me when I asked her not to give me anything because I could not give her anything, ‘We give in the currency that we have.’ Right here, right now, I too am broke financially. But, the currency that I have is these CD’s. So, please allow me to give in that currency. And then you, I’m sure, will find your own currency to give.” He accepted those CD’s with much gratitude and thanks, and that is the last time that I ever saw him. But I think of that wonderful Christmas experience all the time.

It is the Christmas where I experienced, first hand, the true meaning of Christmas. That we all have gifts to give to others. That each gift is unique, wonderful, miraculous, and important. And that each gift is our own special currency. And our responsibility to the world is to give in the currency that we have. And, of course, by giving in our own special, unique currency, we also have the opportunity to receive the special currencies of others.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season, and a most successful and faith-filled New Year!

Love always,

Hally

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