December's Season of Celebrations and Sharing: What's Your Gift?

Real Estate Agent with Beringer Realty

My GiftEveryone has a gift.

I don't mean the kind of gift wrapped up in pretty paper and opened on special occasions, although those are certainly nice. Rather, I mean a gift as in a talent.

ShannonOne person may have the gift of a remarkable memory while another has the gift of athleticism. Others, like my mother, have the gift of gab and can strike up a meaningful conversation with anyone they encounter anywhere. I do love watching her in action :-)

As for me, my gift is music. No, I'm not of concert pianist quality, but I've been hired to play piano at weddings and church services as well as's something that I have a bit of a knack for and that's always given me great enjoyment.

Fortunately for me, my mother, who is also quite musically gifted, made sure I had the opportunity as a child to develop these skills, as you can see from the picture on the right...yep, that's me back when my feet could barely reach the pedals! The picture on the left is also me. My dad, who took the photo, clearly has the gift of humor.

I believe gifts, both talents as well as the wrapped up kind, are meant to be shared with others. So once a week I head over to the Champaign County Nursing Home where I get to play piano and accompany about 10 volunteer singers, mostly retired folks, while the residents of the nursing home listen and/or sing along. It's a way for me to do something I love while sharing my gift with people who really need and appreciate that interaction.

There are plenty of ways to share your own gifts, no matter what they are. If your gift is storytelling, then perhaps you would enjoy being a friend of a resident at a nursing home and reading to that person once a week. Maybe you're good with arts and crafts and would enjoy volunteering at The I.D.E.A. Store here in Champaign. Or perhaps you're a natural at teaching and could be an after-school tutor for underprivileged children.

Everyone has a gift. And the very best gifts are those shared with others.

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Shannon Lewis is a Realtor® and broker at Beringer Realty located in Urbana, Illinois. She and her partner, Debbie Hensleigh, help home buyers and sellers in Urbana, Champaign, Savoy, and many other surrounding communities.

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To contact Shannon with a question, for real estate assistance, or just to say "hey!":

call 217-552-8059, or email

Comments (4)

Jeff Jensen
The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states - Greenwich, CT

You are so right.  It warms the heart to share one's gift and tell no one about it.  Even my dog shares his gift as a loving friend on his Therapy dog visits.

Dec 20, 2011 09:00 AM
Shannon Lewis
Beringer Realty - Champaign, IL
Realtor, Broker - Champaign-Urbana, IL

Aww, I wish my dog could go on therapy dog visits but she's a little nutty on a leash :-) That must be a lot of fun for you AND your dog!

Dec 20, 2011 09:14 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Shannon - thanks for participating and completing everything for the contest! Merry Christmas!

Dec 21, 2011 01:24 AM
Shannon Lewis
Beringer Realty - Champaign, IL
Realtor, Broker - Champaign-Urbana, IL

Barbara-Jo, thank YOU for putting it all together! I've enjoyed participating as well as reading others' blogs. Merry Christmas to you, too!!!

Dec 21, 2011 01:47 AM

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