Giving, Getting and Gratitude

by Patricia S. Lemer, M.Ed., NCC

As the holidays approach, thoughts turn to the three "G"s: giving, getting and gratitude. When we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, many of us declare our gratitude for the abundance in our lives. In December, we show our thanks by giving gifts to those we love.

I would like to use this opportunity to share ways that families of children with developmental delays and those working with them can make the three G’s special this year. Give the:

The Gift of Laughter

This fall my life is full of young women. I am teaching a graduate course and am hosting an exchange student. Why would I fill an already full life with noisy girls? Because they are gifts. These ladies have given me the intangibles of laughter and fun. Children of all ages and abilities make us laugh. Although some days it seems we only give to them, they too give us so much to laugh about. The healing power of laughter cannot be under-estimated. Laughter jogs your insides, releases endorphins and is definitely the best medicine.

The Gift of Yourself

The Gift of Time

One of the best gifts we can give is unconditional time. Time is a precious, non-renewable resource, and wasting it can be regretable.

The Gift of Philanthropy

The Council of Foundations offers a book entitled The Giving Family, by Susan Price, which recounts ways families of all means can instill the value of helping others. With an estimated $12 trillion transferring into baby boomers pockets from their parents’ estates in the next 20 years, family foundations are possible. Price recommends engaging children in giving at an early age by:

The Gift of Letting Others Give to Us

When we let others give to us and accept their generosity graciously, we give them a gift in return. Thank you all for giving so much to DDR. I am so grateful for all I have learned from you. Your year-end gifts are most appreciated. Rest assured that we will use them to help families find the best help for their children. Happy holidays!

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume 9, Number 1 - Fall, 2003]

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