The secret santa present that nobody wanted

By Ruth Limkin

There’s always one.

Whenever there’s a secret santa, there’s always one gift that no-one wants. When it gets opened, the person who chose it has that “I guess I need to look happy anyway” look on their face. Everyone watching the gift being opened breathes a sigh of relief, grateful that they didn’t end up with it.

Such was the case this week. At the end of a Christmas breakup was one solitary gift. It became known as “the gift that nobody wanted”. I peered into the gift bag and giggled – smarties and toilet paper! A cheeky gift, which I guessed was selected by a guy. (They usually are!)

The next day, I wandered past it again, sitting forlornly on the table. However this time I was struck with the thought that this gift – the secret santa present that nobody wanted – was a reminder of how blessed we are.

We have the opportunity to say no to chocolate, when so many people don’t even have the opportunity to say yes to food. Easy access to toilet paper, and a proper toilet, would be an answer to prayer for many around the world.

Did that realisation make me feel guilty? No it didn’t.  I don’t think ‘first world guilt’ helps anyone, but ‘first world’ contentment, gratitude, stewardship and generosity certainly do.

So the secret santa present that nobody wanted was gratefully unpacked.

I glanced at the photos of the sponsor children we have, and resolved again to live with gratitude, (and send them a letter).

It’s amazing what an unwanted gift can teach you.

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ruth@ruthlimkin.com