Some of my favorite holiday gifts have been those received by daughter, Anjelica, when she was a little girl and would bring home handmade treasures she created at school. Each year at Christmas, I would dellght in opening her gifts carefully wrapped in colored tissue paper. Over the years I have a received: a large paper star with her picture (from pre-school) which still hangs on our tree each year; pottery, animal sculptures, hand-painted ornaments, and numerous pieces of precious art, some of which, I lovingly display in my office today.
But even more than receiving these sweet gifts was the look of pure joy on her face in giving me something that she had created herself. The joy of giving of oneself. This is what the holidays are really about. When we give of ourselves, not only do we contribute to another, but we also increase our own happiness and joy.
The beauty of this concept is that it doesn’t take much to manifest this experience in our lives or the lives of others. Here’s a few simple ideas for spreading more love and joy to those in your life:
1. Give the gift of your undivided time and attention to someone you love.
Example: My Christmas gift to you this year is ONE COMPLETE DAY OF TOGETHERNESS & FUN, MY PLACE OR YOURS.
2. Offer to help clean, organize, or help a friend or relative for an day or afternoon. Example: My holiday gift to you this year is A DAY OF HELP: CLEANING & ORGANIZING YOUR CLOSET, GARAGE OR OFFICE.
3. For your girlfriends: CHICKFLICK FRIDAY – I’LL BRING THE MOVIES, POPCORN, CHOCOLATE AND KLEENEX!
4. For your spouse or significant other: MY GIFT TO YOU THIS CHRISTMAS IS A FUN FILLED DAY FOLLOWED BY A NIGHT OF ROMANCE. CHILDREN AND SANTA NOT INCLUDED.
5. If you’re artistic or craftsy, make your own gifts. People love things receiving gifts we’ve made for them. They have much greater sentimental value than anything you could ever buy.
6. Write a letter or poem for your loved ones and frame it.
7. Create a photo album or scrapbook of the times you have shared together as friends or family.
8. Bake Christmas cookies with initials or names painted in icing.
9. Make a book of Holiday Coupons offering love, support, service and FUN.
10. Create a Personalized Holiday Cookbook with all your favorite recipes.
(In my case…this would be a very short book or perhaps, even burnt around the edges!)
This holiday season I hope that we all strive to remember what everyone really longs for: To love and be loved in return.
For that, is the greatest gift of all.
Peace & Blessings!