Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Hands Will be Empty ... But My Heart Will be Full

Christmas. I am feeling oddly unaffected by the upcoming stresses of the season, because I am shifting my focus this year.

Random acts of kindness, giving in ways I haven't given before and looking outside of my friend and family circle to find alternate ways of gifting, has relieved the pressure of trying to find the perfect gift that represents the gratitude that I feel for having that person in my life. Once I closed my eyes to the materialism and opened them to looking at alternatives, I felt a part of me come to life.

In this day and age, there are truly very few people that I know that are in dire need. I am one of them. I want for absolutely nothing in my life. I have the ability to indulge in not only necessities ... but many frivolous items. It kind of makes me crazy to think that someone has spent their hard earned (or saved or borrowed) cash on something that may end up collecting dust in my home.

I look at the material gifts that are collecting in my home and it seems like such a waste. How do I make this stop without telling those who gave so generously that though the gesture is fully appreciated, the gift is unnecessary (and there are so many other ways their money could have been utilized ...)?

I must set out early and let those that are on the list that I would dearly love to give to, that a gift will not be forthcoming this year. Instead, I will open my eyes and heart to those who will never know what I may have done on their behalf.

The magic is in keeping the details to myself. I want to be Santa this year. An anonymous, mysterious figure who only exists in the hearts of those who 'believe'. I will still buy for My Youngest ... but I would like to donate the rest of my budgeted Christmas funds to my 'Santa Goal'.

I would like to enact a NO-GIFT policy to those who have given to me in the past.

Instead, I would like for them to take what they may have spent to treat themselves to an indulgence. Whether it is to treat themselves to a cup of coffee ... an afternoon at the movies ... a day with friends ... a dance lesson … a book … or getting their hair done. I would ask them to indulge themselves to anything that brings happiness to their heart.

If they find that in the act of being kind to themselves, they have more to give … commit random acts of kindness. Listen with their heart to hear of those who need a helping hand and give what you may have to offer. Whether it is a material or emotional need that they discover, follow their instincts and reach out in the spirit of the season.

The gift of ‘you’ is all that I could ever want
The gift of your caring, sharing, understanding and compassion is all that I need.
In this season of giving, if I am (or ever have been) on your gift list,
I have but one small request:
Please pay it forward.

Look for ways to spend your time and money
in ways that have significant value to you … or someone in need.

I will look for ways to continue this trend long past the Christmas season. When the opportunity arises, I hope to find ways of acting on giving simple pleasures all year through.

This is a long, convoluted way of saying when I see you throughout this holiday season my hands will be empty but my heart will be full.

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