My brother and I used to have a funny exchange each year. He would say, “What’d you get this year? Cuz, you know, it’s all about getting.” And we would laugh. And I’m not sure if we thought it was funny because that’s obviously not what the holiday is about; it’s about giving, right? Or, if it was that sort of nervous laugh because deep down inside it really is about hoping that we get the presents we want.
I could easily take this blog in the direction of the over-commercialization of Christmas. But instead, I’d like to suggest that we each start asking the question a different way, and in doing so, we can bring back the original meaning of the season. “What are you giving for Christmas?” And on December 26, “What did you give?” Can you imagine what the holiday season would be like if we all adopted that way of thinking and doing? The spirit of giving would really be… well, the spirit of giving.
How about trying one giving thing this year. I’m not talking about buying a gift. Sometimes that ends up being an obligatory, rushed, stressful, “I-don’t-know-what-to-get-mom-this-year” purchase. I mean really giving. Here are a few ideas for things you can give:
- Time: Give someone 60 minutes of your time…with your cell phone turned off and in a different room. The gift of time only counts if you are present and engaged.
- Your Heart: Not the heart emoticon. Not the bitmoji drawing a heart in a text. Your real heart. Open it. Receive love. Give love back.
- Food: For the cost of a couple Starbucks you can buy a meal for someone in need. And nourish your soul at the same time.
- Prayer: There are a lot of people hurting at this time of year. Say a prayer to your higher power of choice. Ask for peace and comfort for someone who you think could use it.
- Your shoulder to cry on. Your arms to hug someone. Your ears to listen.
- A conversation: When is the last time you called a friend, your brother or sister, a former work colleague, just to chat? Actually talk. Say hi. Ask how they are doing and listen when they tell you. Wish them a very Merry Christmas with your voice.
- Forgiveness: Go ahead, reach out to someone you’ve held a grudge or anger against. Even if you know you were right. Mend the fence.
- Charitable donation: Make a donation to a cause you are passionate about. And if you got a big bonus at work this year, make a charitable donation in the name of anyone you would normally give a gift to. And then tell that person about it. Maybe they’ll pay it forward next year.
And then, on December 26 when someone says, “What did you get for Christmas?” you say, “The spirit of giving.”
Published by: Connie Glover in Uncategorized