I always love these last few days before the holidays. Getting all my last minute gifts, and coming up with even more last minute gift ideas that they needed to be shopped for till the second the stores closed on Christmas Eve. I never really cared too much, as an adult, about receiving gifts, but giving them and lots of them, became somewhat of a habit.I would always try to give a lot of gifts, and the best gifts I could think of or the biggest gifts. The most thoughtful or meaningful. But I am also reminded of some of the smaller gifts that I like to give, for these are the gifts that over the years have to lead me on a journey, through the art of giving and show me what it really means to give to others. When I was younger and had lots of extra money is when I started giving. I still remember my first time doing this at Christmas time walking into a Timmys and asking the staff if I could buy 100 coffees for people. Their response was that of appreciation and a bit of surprise by the number. I felt good for giving but also felt something else, ego and pride. As others valued or looked up to me for giving the giving lost some of its meaning. Word of praise for what I was doing was a gateway for a drug of ego to take hold. That gone unchecked could lead very quickly to giving for the wrong reasons. And sometimes it did, I would find myself in the drive-thru doing this because others may see and tell me good work or nice words. This was ego and I tried to fight it. I would try to give in secret and that seemed to work, but I wouldn't feel the same joy as seeing others impacted. It was always a fight to try to give for the right reasons. And then one situation at a Tim Hortons changed my perspective on giving. As I walked up to the counter, I ordered and asked to pay for the order to the person in the line beside me. I did this without much notice, but then something unexpected happened. After I got my order I sat down and noticed that the person for whom I paid for their order, in turn, asked to pay for a person's coffee in the drive-thru. The feelings that I got that moment were not of pride or ego, but of joy and fulfilment. And thats when I knew that giving doesn't have to be done in secret in order to avoid ego and pride of giving. Giving is not about others cheering for us, or patting us on the back and saying what a good job we are doing. True selfless giving is giving so those people we give to may also help others. Giving is just about that. Giving and expecting nothing in return, but also giving and not that no one should notice but that others may be inspired to give to others as well.