“Giving is a difficult and almost contemplative art form that has to be practiced to be done well;to learn to give is almost always the simple, sometimes heartbreaking act of just giving again. To stop giving in any situation is to call an end to relationship. “
-David Whyte, Consolations
Every holiday season I am surprised how often someone with a deep sigh will say, “I have to go shopping and I really dread it, don’t you?” As much as I’d like to make them feel better, I don’t think I do. My answer to them looks something like this…”Actually, no I don’t ever feel the stress during the holidays. I love giving gifts…and I gotta say, I love getting them too.”
I am a Hallmark baby and even living in California, I have some deep-seated magical thinking that it might snow on Christmas Eve. There were many Christmases when my family had little or no money to buy presents, but somehow my parents always pulled it off. There were dolls who walked, Slinkies, diaries, and one Christmas my Daddy bought us “Hugo” and “Hildegard”, two tiny Dachshund puppies. In the neverending uncertainty that was our family, Christmas morning always happened.
The gifts I loved the most didn’t cost much. They were the ones that made me so happy I wanted to cry. I knew the giver really KNEW me, what mattered to me, what made me light up. Being known was the gift.
I taught my kids the art of giving by refusing to buy the “hot toy of the season”. Year after year I kept my ears and eyes open to what they were excited by, what made their hearts sing and I would buy those things, hide them all year long in my closet or in the barn and when the holiday screech and scream arrived, I knew I could relax and enjoy feeling the love and gratitude that those holidays are meant to be.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The kids weren’t always happy when they didn’t get the “toy of the day” on Christmas morning. I did cheat and tell a relative or two what their dream items were and later at the family gathering, those relatives got the joy of being the good guys. That was their gift! But somehow, those boys learned that the gift was the thought and purposeful knowing, listening all year long for those clues that would lead them to a gift that says, “I know you love this…”
So this year, snow or not, I am relaxed and moving my heart slowly into this holiday season. I hope that you will do the same. Sit in your chair, lie in bed longer than usual while you ponder just what the people in your life truly want from you. Most of them want your presence not your presents. They want to feel that you truly “get them”. That you know them so well…It is the best gift you can give to those you treasure most.
Stay away from the malls if they take more than they give to you. Stay within a budget that helps you stay in the spirit and out of the buyer’s remorse that can kill the intention of gifting faster than anything. Trust me. We all just want that gift to show that we are loved and understood as the beautiful unique fabulous snowflakes that we are.
If you are alone this holiday season and want to be standing under the mistletoe next year, you can find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life. Ready to do whatever it takes!
Let’s talk! Next year can be the best holiday ever if you start today by calling me at 510-817-4242 to book at Complimentary Strategy Session. Give yourself this gift!
Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert, “Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups”
Donna’s Big Red Chair