The Best Gift -- By Joseph J. Mazzella

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Cor 13:12)

The stores are going to be crowded the next few weeks. It is that time of the year between Thanksgiving and Christmas when people go shopping for special gifts for those they love. As I started to think back on the gifts I have been given over the years, however, it wasn’t the ones that came wrapped up under a tree that moved me the most. The gifts that most touched my soul are the ones that came from the hearts of those around me.

Those special hugs my Grandma gave me as a boy that squeezed the air out of my lungs and warmed my heart at the same time are a gift I will always cherish. The gift of my Mom’s loving and joyous smile still lives on in my heart and soul today. I always felt happier when I saw it. Those boyhood touch football games my brothers and I had in the sunshine, rain, and even the snow are a gift of fun that still makes me laugh. The countless repairs my Dad made on my tired, old cars over the years is a gift I can never repay. His help kept me driving and his love kept me going during some of the toughest points in my life. Those phone calls from my Aunt that keep me smiling for half the day are another priceless gift I still enjoy. They always lift my spirits as high as Heaven. The hugs, smiles, laughter and kind words that are shared with my children, my friends and my neighbors are daily gifts that I wouldn’t trade for all the presents in the world. The letters and cards I get from my wonderful online friends also have a special place under the Christmas tree in my heart. They have made my soul rich beyond compare.

All of these gifts remind me too that Love is the greatest gift of all The love that God has for us and the love that we share with each other is what life is all about. Love gives meaning to our days, joy to our hearts, and wealth to our souls. It makes us brighter, the world better, and brings God closer. May you always have the time of your life then giving the best gift of all.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella