During this gift giving season, a lot of emphasis is placed on obligation, reciprocity, competition, and conformity. As a result, we often worry about what other people might think rather than what other people might want or really need.
Other people might not want more stuff.Or maybe they do. It's difficult to know best and do right all the time, even most of the time. Still, during the holidays, most of us want to express ourselves to others with some meaningful, appreciated token. Often, it's really just the thought that counts.
What do others want?Love, time, attention, affection, appreciation. Think back over the best gifts you've received from others and I'll bet that those were some genuine, personal expression of love and appreciation.
Think back over the best gifts you've given.Now think about how awesome you felt giving those things.
If you find yourself stressing out to buy a gift for someone for the sake of buying something, take a minute. Are you thinking of yourself? Are you thinking of the recipient?
If you don't know your recipient well or know what they need, is there a third party that could benefit from this exchange? A local food producer or massage therapist or retail store or artist?
Gift giving is about you — your intention, your attitude, your thoughtfulness, love and appreciation. Expand yourself through giving.
“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”