Gift Giving is Life Giving
The tradition of giving gifts on National, and Religious, Holidays, can be stressful and rewarding at the same time. For some, it can cause anxiety and undue pressure. For me, this is all a farce. Is it really necessary to give gifts because it is the tradition of a National or Religious Hoiday? No! I decide when I want to give a gift and why.
There is truly beauty and sincerity in ignoring the practices of the masses and giving on any day for any reason. It’s kind of along the lines of pay it forward. Yet, completely different. You give a gift because the spirit has moved you. You give a gift because someone is on your mind, you are thinking about them, and you want to do something nice for them. It is thoughtful and appreciative when lest expected.
There are three holidays where gift giving is an expectation: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. When I recall my own experience with the most common 3 I have moments of joy, feelings of hurt, alienation, anticipation, and anxiety. There’s the anticipation of wondering if the that person you wanted to think of you had any thought of you at all. There was always joy and elation when you received a gift and even more so if it from the person you hoped would think of you. As a woman, there’s the humiliation, disappointment and hurt when you’re the only female at work that didn’t receive roses on Valentine’s Day. But the elation and happiness when I surprised someone unexpectedly paid for it all. And it happened the same every year. The same feelings every year.
I now realize the true meaning of gift giving and receiving. To give or get a gift does not require a holiday. Step back and reflect on your life for just the past year. Because you will have an easier time recalling those memories of your time with those closest to you, think only of your closest family. Were there times when you gave them anything unexpectedly, and them to you? Think of anything, even the little things. For example, this was very small. When I was dating my husband, we were not living together. He had stopped by before I went to work. When I was preparing for work, I opened the fridge and discovered that he had bought me a salad and placed it in my fridge, without ever telling me it was there. That was a gift and one I have never forgotten. That is the true beauty of gift giving. He had great feelings of joy and I, too. Moments like these are many, but often go unnoticed. These, unfortunately, can become expectations, or the norm, and lose the sincerity and meaning.
So, GIVE MORE GIFTS!!! And APPRECIATE ALL GIFTS. That means realize all the gifts in your day. I guarantee you that you are missing so many. Stop, slow down, you’ll notice the little gifts that you’ve given to others as well. That coffee you brought into work for your co-worker, the shirt you picked up for your daughter, the extra $5 you left the waitress during lunch. There is no need to have to wait for a National or Religious holiday to give a gift. My husband and I no longer exchange gifts on those days. We recognize that we give each other gifts many more times throughout the year. Just last week, on my first day back at a gym in over 6 years, I stopped home after work to change. There, sitting under my workout clothes was a box with a new pair of shoes. A surprise gift and very thoughtful. Yep, screw the holidays, I prefer to give and receive gifts throughout the year.