$2.50: The price of a basketball, Crock-Pot, scented candle, cooking utensils, and a 30-pack of colored pencils at the annual SLUH Mothers’ Club Loyola Christmas store. If the name does not say it all, then the event certainly does. Each year, the SLUH Mothers’ Club fundraises and collects gifts to put together a large Christmas shopping center in Loyola Academy’s gym. Throughout the day, each Loyola student is able to enter the shopping center, cash in-hand (no more than $5, please), to purchase Christmas gifts for various family members and friends. A set of glass dishes might cost $0.50 and Christmas lights might go for $0.25. The most coveted item, a brand new, out-of the-box basketball, might sport a healthy $1.00 price tag. The point of the event is simple: let Loyola students shop for meaningful gifts for their families.
This is profound.
It is a gift I have always been blessed enough to have: the ability to give. But it is only during this year that I have truly experienced this blessing. I can give my time, talent, and resources. Even on my worst days, I have the comfort of security: a family who loves me and could meet my every need on a moment’s notice. That is not the case for many, if not most people in the world. The ability to give is a gift, as well as the ability to feel satisfied from giving. The joy of giving, of showing another that you thought of them, is a joy that everyone should have the opportunity to feel. There are few things that enkindle such a sense of gratitude and appreciation than giving; the action of showing “I want to share what I have with you.” For the boys at Loyola, thanks to the generous donations of the Mothers’ Club, this gift of giving is something they will feel this Christmas. And how fitting, that as these boys enter the Jesuit education model, a model built upon the tenants of serving others, they learn the gratification of giving a gift. Lord, teach us to be generous.