Giving and Receiving

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Frenzied shopping at the end of the year, large financial concerns as you see the credit card levels increase or quite simply a checklist, like every other list of things to do.  The theme of “giving” while offering someone a gift can be joyous and heart-warming, or in many cases it becomes a duty or creates a feeling  of emptiness inside.

I know for me that gifts bought out of ” we do this every year” makes me feel sad and often a little hypocritical. I used to have a long list of the courtesy cards and gifts that were sent out. Realising that there was no real sincerity being sent along with them led me to make changes.

Firstly, I asked myself how I felt when receiving a tick- box present? Then I compared that to one that was bought and offerred with  heart-felt-ness and authentic love. I knew immediately which of the two types of gifts, I personally appreciated most.

In recent years I decided to only give from the heart, asking myself “Is this an expression of love and caring? Does it come from the heart?”

The act of giving and receiving is most worthy and friends and families immediately become our true benefactors.
What would it look like if we perhaps offered these people, only words?

Christmas time is so perfect for a gratitude practice? If we stop for a moment, don’t we owe our gratitude to the people in our lives? What if we took the time to say or write a brief expression of that gratitude for each person? If we tuck some special words into our gift, or better yet, take time to tell them.  When we are in their presence, noticing that they are opening our gift to them ,what else might we say in that moment?

Spreading love and kindness, showing gratitude and appreciation are indeed the most valuable gifts of all.