Give the gift that keeps on giving
As the holidays draw closer and depending on your traditions, many of us are already in celebration or recognizing and participating in our festivities. Along with the various holidays, and even those that are not well defined or do not fit in one of the traditional “molds”. Gift giving or the exchange of presents whether material goods, time or even sharing ideas and goals, there is an exchange taking place in some form.
There is no denying the pleasure one feels when watching another person open a gift that was shopped for, planned and chosen with care and for their individuals tastes, preferences and needs in mind. There is also the reciprocation of joy, opening a gift that someone has chosen for you, and not only admiring what has been received but acknowledging the anticipation of the giver and their joy as well.
And although we are in no way suggesting that actual gift giving be curtailed, or that literal gift giving, exchanges or presents do not bring joy, happiness and added fun to our holiday season, there is also a gift we all have the ability to give that lasts and is appropriate for any holiday and season.
The gift of our time and caring.
We often rush through our lives, busy working, perhaps raising a family and consumed with time, the clock and all the physical demands of life on earth that we can lose our perspective. Then the holidays come and we suddenly reconnect with friends and family, join in office parties or celebrations and for many of us take time to enjoy those we surround ourselves with.
We don’t always stop to think that perhaps a friend, a co-worker, an aunt, uncle or even a parent is often neglected or somewhat ignored for the other 11 months of the year. The fact is, it may be those other months, and other times that our gifts from the heart are needed much more than the toaster, slippers or beautiful bracelet given during our holiday season.
Love is the gift that never stops giving, and love needs to be given and expressed, not just felt or acknowledged. Love or a display of caring, concern and support can make the difference for another person in a good day or week or a lonely one. Sharing yourself with others and taking time throughout the entire year to offer some encouragement, words of praise, gestures of friendship or love should be something we make our tradition for the entire year!
Imagine what a small token to show you care or are thinking of someone has the power to do for those that may be struggling in life. Perhaps it’s baking something homemade for no other reason than to let a co-worker know that you care. Or maybe a card sent to a family member without the excuse of a holiday just to say; ‘I am thinking of you’. Or perhaps a friend has been struggling, take a few minutes out of your day to call and offer support. Just the gesture of reaching out and letting another person know you care or have been thinking about them can be a true gift that lasts and never goes out of style.
So many little things we have to offer others that only require a small bit of our time and have the power to bring a smile, joy and for the recipient to know that someone out there is thinking of them and not just during the expected time of year. The holiday season is of course the perfect time to share our bounty with others, whether you give to charities, volunteer with local toy drives or just bring special goodies to the office to share; it’s a magical time of goodwill and joy.
Use this holiday season to not only give as expected or perhaps even required, but take the spirit of the season and save an extra piece of the spiritual joy to hold with you for the upcoming year. Be the person that makes a difference in someone else’s life when it’s least expected and most appreciated and needed. While the holidays may only last for a specific time, the spiritual energy and our ability to “give” doesn’t have to end, and can become a part of our “tradition” the entire year. The small effort required to brighten someone’s day, to offer support or a friendly call, note or card has the power to bring the holiday spirit to someone that needs such a gift and the reciprocation of knowing how we have touched another person’s life and brought a smile, or filled their hearts when they were empty is a gift we also give ourselves.
So as you partake of the holiday this year, take a moment to sit back and realize the potential that exists to give that gift that continues to give, simply by showing someone that you truly do care. We do not have to limit ourselves to giving only once a year; and the best gifts always come from the heart, those gentle reminders that someone is thinking of you, a few minutes of your time, keep the season going and make it your goal to be one that gives that gift of love, you never know when you may be in need and someone else will be giving that gift back.