*Nepal, Christmas 2011
The Christmas classics are plugged into Pandora, our little Charlie Brown tree is standing proudly in the corner, thrilled that someone actually picked him; the season of giving has officially begun.
There is a magic about this time of year that is often trumped by all the holiday hype. Strangely, we need more and more each year it seems and we celebrate our own gifts less and less.
Many of us worry that we might not have enough to give. We stress over long lists. We fall into the delusion of discounts. We act a fool all in the honor of the Christmas Spirit, missing mostly the whole Cindy-Lou-Who point.
I’m trying to think if I can even recall any gifts I received as a child. I remember our puppy in 5th grade, Buddy. I also remember the year of the dolls and the purple theme, only because I was in college and Gma had bought all us girls (the three cousins) the same exact thing just as she had in our elementary years. I think she had some sort of relapse.
But, that’s about it, as far as memory goes. Sure, there were plenty of gifts torn open and paper strewn all about, but none of it lasts as long as the experiences. The traditions. The sleigh riding. The ice skating. The time spent with those I loved and looked up to, those whose attention alone meant the moon to me.
Giving can come in every facet, let us not forget. This is a great time to take stock in our own gifts to recognize the true value in all that we have to give.
“Give out what you most want to come back.” -Robin Sharma
When you peel back all the layers of what the holidays have become, we find the very simple spirit from which they all began.
Let’s be honest…that’s what we want most. That’s what we remember. That’s what it’s all about.
I leave you with this: What gifts do people recognize in you that you may not give yourself enough credit for? What non-monetary gifts might you be willing to offer (your family, your friends, perfect strangers, the world) this season? Without any attachment or expectations, what do you want most to come back to you? And what are you willing to give for it?
#Onward to tinsel and tidings
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” -kahlil gibran
*Elisa taught the young monks games, including Simon Says, in the monastery where we volunteered in Kathmandu. We were there teaching English for 10 days, but I’m pretty sure it was Elisa’s enthusiasm for sports and games and fun and life that they learned the most.