Monday, December 24, 2012

The Spirit of Giving ... All Year Long

I have been avoiding my Christmas Rant this year. I thought if I couldn't say anything good, I wouldn't say anything at all about the over glorified hype of this season.

The quieter I got, the more I felt it. I was relieved when I received an email yesterday that allowed me to vent my feelings. Once purged, they became a little less powerful and I could go through the motions of the festive season and endure.

The expectations of this season make me somewhat angry. I admit it. No matter how hard I try to bring the spirit of Christmas into my day-to-day life ... I still feel that Christmas means that I must give more.

What if I don't have more to give? What if I am emotionally spent? What if I am financially spent!? What if I am out of ideas and time and creativity? What if I am running on empty??

The truth of the matter is that it feels good to give. Giving of yourself lifts you out of dark places. To make a small difference in another person's day is a gift to the giver as well as the one on the receiving end. How often have you paid a good deed forward when someone does something completely unexpected and kind?

In some small way ... the gift is forwarded. Even if it is to lighten the mood of the person on the receiving end. A person feels a little lighter and has more to give of themselves when life has given them an unexpected blessing and that mood is carried forward to those people that touch the life of that person .

A complement. An acknowledgement of appreciation. A kind word. A smile. It is not the money spent that makes the difference ... the gift is in the way you make another person feel.

We have no idea what those that cross our paths are dealing with. It is impossible to guess. But it is safe to say that 'everyone has a story' ... and if we are gentle with our words and generous with kindness we can make a big difference in a person's day.

I love that Christmas is a catalyst of generosity among us. A note. A chocolate bar. An acknowledgement of a job well done. Anything positive that can be paid forward is a gift ...

The Christmas season has a way of making the emotions that we are carrying with us on a day-to-day basis feel more acute. Whether we are lonely, in pain, have suffered a loss, are dealing with serious health issues in our world or simply carrying a load of sadness with us from day-to-day. This season can make it all feel bigger than it would be on any other day.

If you know someone who may be feeling the acuteness of this season in a way that hurts ... reach out and touch them. A phone call. A note. An invitation. Anything to draw them out and into the world ...

The best gifts in life do not cost a penny. Don't save your generosity for special occasions. Those that are feeling low at Christmas are feeling the same low-grade sense of pain with them the other 364 days of the year.

Give all year long. If you can make a small difference to another person, remember them when special occasions bring their hurt to the surface. Not just because it is Christmas ...

May you carry a piece of the magic this season has the opportunity to bring to you throughout the days, months and years ahead.

I wish you a Happy Christmas and may you share the gift of happiness with those that touch your world.

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