To Gift

Main Entry: 1gift
Pronunciation: 'gift
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse, something given, talent; akin to Old English giefan to give
Date: 12th century
1 : a notable capacity, talent, or endowment
2 : something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation
3 : the act, right, or power of giving synonyms GIFT, FACULTY, APTITUDE, BENT, TALENT, GENIUS, KNACK mean a special ability for doing something. GIFT often implies special favor by God or nature . FACULTY applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function . APTITUDE implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it
. BENT is nearly equal to APTITUDE but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability . TALENT suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed . GENIUS suggests impressive inborn creative ability . KNACK implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance.

In producing this Advent Calendar I have found that the trick is use your gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius or knack to find a clever way of doing something different.

Edwina Peterson Cross, in Shakespeare's Sister provides a reminder that it is "incumbent upon us to be sure that we leave something as good or better" for our children. When we gift them with our time and support we give something that humanity can benefit from.

Think about what your gift will be!

Gift from:
Nicole Cody

Aware Christmas by Nicole Cody

Edwina Peterson Cross


"I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young- alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and the Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the crossroads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed."
Shakespeare's Sister by Edwina Peterson Cross

Gift from Beth Adams.

The Cassandra Pages is a weblog of personal reflections on world culture, place, and spirit. The author, Beth Adams, uses the internet pen name "Cassandra".

Gifts for A Baby by Beth Adams
Stars of Wonder by Beth Adams

Gift from Jane Tilton


'Hanging On' by Jane Tilton

Jane Tilton wrote and told the Musers here at Soul Food: "12 years ago this time of year I woke up and could not walk...or write..or paint...To an artist nothing is more devastating. But once I got some mobility back I went into my studio every morning and would lift my brush, dip in the oils and splash the canvas with a streak of color. This went on for months as I could not stand more then a few minutes at a time until I became too weak to support myself. As the months moved forward I slowly regained use of my body. It was not as good as before, but I was able to function. (By the way it was diagnosed at Christmas as Multiple Sclerosis.) After many months a picture began to emerge from the paint colors on the canvas. It became a tree..with huge unrelated flowers blossoming on it, and a female (me?) HANGING ON...for all her life.....Just thought I would share.. " Jane's willingness to share was a gift that came at a very timely moment. I know that most days I feel like I am barely hanging on. Thank you Jane!

Gift from Tony Anthony

Tony Anthony from Beneath Buddahs Eyes has written a piece about the reward of giving for the Advent Calendar.

return to Advent Calendar

Precious Gifts


This wall mural was made "in good faith...faith that this Buddhist exercise known as the making and dedicating of merit for the well-being of others...is worthwhile."

Frankly, this mural that Stephanie Hansen began painting when my husband Darryl was recovering from his bowel operation, is one of the most precious gifts I have received.

Operating the Soul Food Cafe has reinforced my view about currency. Here at Soul Food we barter with a very special currency. Writers and artists alike have gifted me their work and have been very happy to work collaboratively to promote writing and artistic self expression. The most exciting thing has been to watch as a robust community has evolved.

This December it is time to think about the meaning of the word gift and how the meaning makes you rethink Christmas in the light of the impact of overt commercialism.

The Legend of the Christmas Prayer
by Brian Morgan

Once upon a Christmas time, long ago, a man who had a big heart, but little money, dreamt he could give his friends endless riches. When he awoke, the dream kept running through his mind, over and over. Finally, he asked himself: "If I could give my friends anything, what would I give?" He smiled as he began to think of all the wondrous things he could buy for them but then he thought: "I'm a happy man, yet I have none of those things." And he began to think that perhaps real wealth could not be measured in riches. Perhaps there were gifts of greater value than the things money could buy. In the still of the night, he pondered these things and thought of Christmas and what it meant to him. Taking out his quill, he began to write on a parchment scroll:

On the first day of Christmas I pray for you joy in abundance and laughter, for laughter cures our ills and joy makes our spirits soar.

On the second day of Christmas, I pray for you a sigh when you need one, for a sigh clears the heart as a cough clears the throat, and with a sigh comes acceptance of what we cannot change.

On the third day of Christmas, I pray for you tears when you need them, for tears clear the eyes to see the stars and cleanse the soul to let healing being.

On the fourth day of Christmas, I pray for you serenity, for fights and wars start in individual hearts and that is where they must end.

On the fifth day of Christmas, I pray for you wisdom, for our priceless gift is the gift of choice - and we should use it well every day, in word and deed.

On the sixth day of Christmas, I pray for you patience, for most troubles pass if we wait them out, and success comes with persistence.

On the seventh day of Christmas, I pray for you courage, for there may be many pitfalls and dangers ahead and problems can only be solved when they are faced.

On the eighth day of Christmas, I pray for you compassion, for we cannot help others until we understand them, and we cannot understand them until we walk in their shoes.

On the ninth day of Christmas, I pray for you a willingness to work, for work turns dreams to reality - whether the dreams are ours or belong to those we can help.

On the tenth day of Christmas, I pray for you unwavering faith, for faith shapes our morals and our destiny and draws us closer to God.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, I pray for you a mind full of hope, for hope determines our attitudes, sets our goals and creates our ideals.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, I pray for you a heart so full of love that every day you must give some away to those whose paths you cross.

And with each prayer, the man realized he was not giving a gift at all, but hoping that his friends would find the gifts they already had within them. Each time he wrote a prayer, a marvelous thing happened. It seemed to him that the prayer, although offered for his friends, remained in his heart and produced in him the very thing he prayed for them. The man copied his scroll and sent the Christmas prayer to special friends, and that is where the legend of the Christmas Prayer is lost in the mists of time. The man was never heard of again but, over the years, the Christmas Prayer began to appear all over the world. People in obscure villages and big cities would receive at Christmas time a copy of the scroll from a friend. And so the wonder multiplied, until the story finally reached you. May you, too, feel the warmth and enjoy the riches of the Christmas Prayer.
source: Megan Warren

Making Precious Gifts.

Enter through the wardrobe, past the fur coats, towards the lamp and find a gift.

"Looking into the inside she saw several coats hanging up - mostly long fur coats. There was nothing Lucy liked so much as the smell and feel of fur."


Associated Links

Do you have a last-minute gift idea and need a simple winter-themed card or gift tag to go with it? If so, this cute snowman card and tag might do the trick! Download the cards from the Creativity Portal, in an Adobe Acrobat® PDF format, and print them on matte card stock, glossy photo paper, or other printer-friendly paper of your choice to use for your gift giving!

Secrets of Gift Wrapping