I’m reposting this because even though Colby is now a Big Girl (she’ll be 12 next spring) and I am 7 years in to my relationship, the spirit of this post is still relevant and uplifting. Enjoy!
“Cupcake Car” from Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog…just in time to save the world from war, hunger, and poverty……
Rampant materialism is all around. It can only mean one thing:
’tis the commercialized holiday season where the loudest silver bell
ringing is the “ka-ching” of the merchant’s cash register. Lest
anyone think I am a Bah Humbug kind of gal, let me explain that
I am 100% behind the idea of giving. And apparently, so is my
little friend Colby whom I visited a couple of years ago over the Thanksgiving holiday in Downer’s Grove, Illinois.
There was a Christmas parade there culminating in
Colby’s first meeting with Santa Claus. The line to sit on Santa’s lap
was a long one and it was very chilly winter weather. Naturally,
Colby had her list of requests ready to whisper into jolly St. Nick’s
ear. What charmed me most was that Colby also had other people in mind. She asked me what I wanted from Santa and she promised to ask him for me. When I told her to ask Santa to bring me a handsome rich boyfriend for me, Colby giggled and said, “Are you sure?” since her own sights were set on receiving a Barbie Princess Playhouse and she couldn’t quite imagine a boyfriend being more fun than that!
On the way home, she asked her mother if we could make a present for Santa Claus,too. Not just the usual cookies and milk for Santa
and some carrots for the reindeer, either. Colby wanted to make
a very elaborate piece of art for him. Although this little girl
was excited about what she might be receiving from Santa this year, she was equally–or even more!– excited about giving to others. And it is when we give to others that we actually give back to ourselves. What goes around really does come around in unexpected ways.
I have found throughout the years that the one thing that people most appreciate getting as a gift is your time. Time is a luxury in our hectic world. The gift of time can manifest itself in various ways (here are a few ideas):
* Sending holiday greeting cards? Take the time to write
a little personal note in there. Even one sentence pertaining to
the unique relationship you have with the person you
are sending the card to will make such a difference.
This serves to strengthen your relationships both professional and personal.
*Take the time to make some phone calls. Reach out to people
you have not talked to in years. It need not be a long one–you can
even set your timer to match your budget. With cheap cell phone
plans and discount phone cards or Skype online phones readily available, it’s easier than ever to stay connected (do I sound like Catherine Zeta Jones for Cingular Wireless, or what?!). One of the feng shui methods for creating opportunities is called “The Water Method” and it involves making phone calls to just about every contact you
have ever had without expectation of anything in return. The idea
is to reconnect. That simple act can bring abundance into your
life in unexpected ways.
* Make time to play with a child–your own or someone else’s
if you don’t have any. Children’s energy and joy is contagious
and a real mood booster if you’re feeling stressed this season.
You might even consider bringing your child to visit an elderly
family member at a nursing home and brighten someone
else’s day by visiting some of the other residents. By the way,
many hospitals, hospices, and senior homes have programs
by which people can bring their pets (usually dogs or cats)
in to visit with patients. Check with your local facility to see if
this might be a way for you to give your time.
* Volunteering your time to serve food to the less fortunate
is one sure way to get out of your own head if you have holiday
depression. Check with the Salvation Army, your church or temple,
or your community action center to find out where the volunteer
soup kitchen is in your town. Giving this gift of yourself is sure
to make you feel great.
*Make your own “gift certificates” of your time. For example, you
can give someone you love a night off with their spouse by handing
them a gift certificate that says you will baby-sit their kids for an entire evening. Another good one is to think of some senior citizen you know who is in the predicament of not being able to drive anymore– the gift certificate you give to her might be to offer to drive her to the mall or grocery store. Get creative!
As we wind down the old year and ring in the new one, this is the perfect time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself to clean up and clear out any unfinished business so you can go into the new year with a clean slate. Set aside some time to take care of yourself and to set some intentions for what you would like to manifest in your life next year. By the way, Santa did bring me that boyfriend— good work, Colby!