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The Gift of Giving

by Judi Moreo

With the holiday season upon us, our thoughts turn to giving and receiving. It’s time to start the list of everyone for whom we must buy gifts. There are people in our lives who want our holiday gift wish list as well. It’s all so complicated. The fear of offending someone because we forgot to put them on the list sends us to the store to buy generic gifts just in case. The holidays become more stressful than joyous. We dread the event and only celebrate once it’s over.

There is another way. It requires a shift in our thinking. What if, instead of worrying how much we are spending and on whom, we focused on giving kindness, love, joy, and peace to each other? There are many ways to do just that. The best part is that whenever we give gifts of the heart instead of gifts from the store, we also receive.

My friend, Karen Phillips, gave me a wonderful list of Great Holiday Gift Ideas. The gifts on this list are so brilliant that you don’t even need to wait for a holiday to deliver them.

The Gift of Affection – Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition – The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. It’s not that hard to smile and say, “Hello” or “Thank you.”

The Gift of a Compliment – A simple and sincere, “You look great today!” “You did a super job!” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

The Gift of a Favor – Every day, go out of your way to do something kind for someone.

The Gift of Laughter – Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Make someone smile or laugh today. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you. You’re special to me!”

The Gift of Listening – BUT — you really must listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Listen with your heart. Your gift will tell them, “You’re important to me. I care about you.”

The Gift of Solitude – There are times when we want nothing more than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others when you can tell that it’s needed.

The Gift of a Written Note – It can be a simple, “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

The Greatest Gift of All – The Gift of Time – This gift is so important and meaningful to others that you may never know its full impact. Just being there and spending time visiting, sharing, sitting quietly in the house, watching the peaceful look upon the person’s face should warm your heart. This gift will tell the person that in today’s busy world, “You are so important, and mean so much to me that I will drop everything I have to do to spend my time with you. I love you!”

Take the time to make a call, pay a visit, or write a note instead of spending your time hunting for parking places at the mall. Remember to give the gift of your smile when you meet people. Share a kind word whenever you can. Allow yourself to be calm and enjoy the beauty of the season. Practice forgiveness and gratitude. Each of us was born with our own unique gifts; share those gifts and look for the gift in others. This year bring joy back into the holidays. Be generous in giving of yourself.

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