It’s the holiday season! For many, it is both a magical and often stressful time of year. It’s the time to think of your loved ones and friends and what might be a special gift for them.
You might know just what to get and find it easily. Or you may scour the internet or the stores for ideas, getting more anxious by the day – until you find just the right thing or get a gift card.
“The Gift of the Magi” Reminder
At this time of year, I try to keep in mind the love story “The Gift of the Magi.” It is about a couple who loved each other so much and knew the perfect gift to give each other but didn’t have the money to buy it.
Each sacrificed something important to them to bring joy to the other. The author, O. Henry, knew what he was writing about in his short story. It is not just the gift we give, but the thought behind it and the heart we put into it. Those are unique gifts!
Many years ago, when I worked in a bookstore, shopping for gifts for family and friends was an adventure. Books offer a world of choice, and it was fun to find the perfect book to fit each one’s personality.
It’s odd that in the marketplace today, with so many choices, I find it harder to find the “perfect” gift. Everything is accessible and convenient, yet to me, it feels a bit soulless. I often turn to handmade gifts, food, and spending time with someone instead of just buying a “gotta have something to give” type of donation.
Giving of Yourself
Gift giving has another side as well. We often feel better when we give of our time and talents. Find a place to volunteer your time. Or instead of a gift for a relative, offer to spend the day doing something for them.
You can volunteer in person or through your donations. Giving as a service to others is a blessing for the recipient and you.
Open Yourself Up to Receive
The brightest, shiniest objects of desire can dull in the presentation or expectedness of them. What makes some gifts most memorable is the “unexpectedness” of them.
For instance, I received a gift, beautifully wrapped and presented with true appreciation from someone unexpected. It was not an expensive gift and was not something that I will keep forever, but it came from a place of love and appreciation. It indeed was an example of what gift-giving is – a reciprocal exchange, a non-verbal communication, a way to show gratitude and appreciation.
Many of us are better at giving than receiving. Ever wonder why that is? Giving and receiving is a relationship, a two-way communication.
Without receiving graciously, we diminish the gift and often the giver. We have to open our hearts to receive, and in doing so, we elevate ourselves to a higher capacity to give.
I wish you all a joyful holiday season! I hope that with each gift exchange you have – big or small, expected or unexpected, as giver or receiver – that you smile with gratitude for the opportunity to share appreciation.