With the holiday season fully upon us now that Black Friday has come and gone, many of us are still pondering what to give those on our gift list. You know, I've noticed of late that when asking folks how they are doing, their answers are one of two things --- either 1) busy, or 2) tired. I've been pondering these answers, wondering if this is all our lives are meant to be...sailing along at warp speed, trying to get places, check items off our "to do" lists, rushing to make sure we and our families are fully occupied. I see it all around me. Rushing, running, in a hurry, never enough time to do what we believe are necessary activities in our lives. Now stack holiday activities on top of our normal routines and we become both extremely busy AND overly tired. So, this year, let's put on the brakes just a little...enough to be able to breathe the beautiful air that keeps us all alive, appreciating the gift of our breath, the very thing that allows us to accomplish all we feel is needed. Then, while we settle in to focus on that simple task, let's gather with those who hold special places in our hearts and do a very simple, special gift exchange. This year, let's give each other the gift of "presence"....PRESENCE --- The dictionary defines this word as "someone or something that is seen or noticed in a particular place, area, etc." So, as you sit with your loved ones, put away your cellular devices, turn off your television sets, close up your laptops and just be present....oh what a wonderful and free gift we all can give each other! For truly, the most precious gifts come from our hearts; the very act of just listening to someone who needs to be heard, or sitting with someone who needs your company, is more valuable and way easier than camping out in the cold for a gigantic television screen that many give their FULL attention to for hours on end. Now, I admit that I use technology when it is convenient, for my business, and for personal reasons as well. But when asked what I want for Christmas, my answer won't be anything expensive, or anything that requires an extensive on line search, or something that will sit and collect dust with all my other "stuff", it will be simply the gift of 'YOU'....your presence, your open heart, your love.
Here are some alternate ideas for giving (and they are all free!!):
1. Forgive someone who has offended you
2. Let go of your resentment of someone
3. Hand-write someone a love/like/admire/thank you letter (Letters are such a lost art...believe me, you will want to see the handwriting of someone you love after they have gone, but that's another topic for a future post..)
4. Take someone out for coffee and just LISTEN to them, letting them know you enjoy their company.
So, this holiday season, we can give presents, but let's make sure we also give others our presence---truly, a wonderful and priceless gift! Holiday Blessings to you!