To Be Joyful with So Little


When Dinora and I visited her birth place, Guatemala, we spent some time with moms who were working picking coffee beans. They toil all day while their children play nearby. Prepared for this visit, Dinora had a backpack full of little toys; small dolls, Matchbox cars, bouncy balls, toy rings, and so forth. (Above is a picture of a little girl clutching a small ring in her hand, so pleased with her gift.) The children were amazingly polite. Each child would gather around Dinora as she gave them each a small toy. Taking it delightfully appreciative into their little hands, they smiled shyly and stepped back to leave room for others to come forward. They didn’t crowd her. They didn’t ask for more, more, more. They reveled in the joy of that tiny toy! Sheer happiness!

It made me realize that more and expensive and better isn’t the right Christmas concept for children as they may not fully appreciate their multitude of blessings. If only they could experience the happiness on Christmas that those children among the coffee bean trees exhibited. Pure joy! What a concept!


Comments on: "To Be Joyful with So Little" (22)

  1. So beautiful. Such a great reminder as I worry over making everything just so. Joy is a state of mind, not found in things but in moments, gifts and blessings. Thanks for the simple reminder!

  2. Lovely post, and I so agree that bigger, more expensive presents aren’t the right concept. So much so, that I stopped buying for the ungrateful brats that unfortunately I’m related to.
    Your picture says it all. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  3. That’s beautiful–thank you for sharing it! So very true! May you and your family have a very blessed Christmas and a happy New Year!

  4. Lovely post, human- Thanks fur sharing!๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ’œ

  5. What a beautiful picture, and story.

  6. What a wonderful notion that you focused on for this post. It is wonderful that you and your daughter are able to share great experiences in her birth place.

  7. Love, love, love this. I think if more kids had the opportunity to travel like this (and actually connect, rather than standing back and simply observing), it would do more good not just for their own development as adults but for the development of the society in which they live. This kind of perspective is not one you can get from a textbook, and yet so many parents place other “experiences” above the experience of travel and sharing. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. Beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like an amazing, unforgettable trip.

  9. Yes indeed – something we should all remember. Thank you. And God bless Dinora for her kindness and thoughtfulness.

  10. Reblogged this on 61chrissterry and commented:
    Such a loving and reflective post and showing the true gift of Christmas.

  11. Beautiful. I lived in the Philippines for one year as a Bible college teacher – and I was amazed at the joy on the children’s faces when they had so little of material goods. Realized it’s not our possession that make us happy – it’s finding joy and appreciation in the “small” things all about us. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you for this reminder. As parents we can stand to learn from it too.

  13. We are truly blessed in America. A land of plenty, yet we always seem to want more. Would that we learned the lesson of contentment from these children!

  14. Great to be here. Thanks for this reminder.


  15. What a thought. I really hope I am still capable of that kind of joy.

  16. Lovely! The challenge we have is my son’s ADHD brings limited attention and impulsivity. I caught him (12) going through my closet the other day looking for Christmas presents. He was bored and became obsessed about wanting to open a present. He’s forever seeking that stimulation that something new brings him. Therefore often wanting something new.

    • That is very challenging all of the time, especially at Christmas! My daughter, who has ADHD, can sit for hours and do puzzles or put together Legos. Maybe that would work for him? She especially loves the 3D puzzles.

      • Thanks, my son is absolutely a Lego man. Yes, when he’s interested in something, he’ll do it non-stop. I guess that’s what they call hyper-focused. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  17. Wow that is so precious

  18. We had the same experience in Costa Rica. The children were appreciative of the smallest things!

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