I have mixed feelings regarding the holiday season and gift giving. I love the fact that family and friends get together and celebrate the holiday season. I must say, I am questioning the great emphasis that we put on material gift giving and receiving.

There are many reasons we may not like to give gifts during this time. It may be financially stressful to buy friends and family “suitable” gifts (assuming you know what they may like or appreciate). We may go to various sales at 3 AM to complete our obligations at an affordable price (at a personal cost of sleep!). We may procrastinate purchasing our gifts until the last minute resulting in gifts that are expensive, low quality and/or not needed by the receiver. We may not enjoy the process of gift buying due to the mechanical nature of the process (missing joy).

In the context of Tending to Your Garden Within, we enjoy feeding our garden within with proper nutrients (gifts) that bring joy, love and understanding.

We can buy many gifts; however, the most valuable gifts are not obtained by spending money. If exchanging purchased gifts does not bring us joy - perhaps we need to consider exchanging a different type of gift. Very likely, the most precious gifts for this holiday season are not advertised on TV, radio or in magazines. Consider giving different types of gifts that can deeply transform our relationships into more loving and joyful ones. The poem below illustrates this concept further.

Holiday Season

A time

to exchange gifts

with our family and friends.

What gift can we exchange that

is priceless?

Perhaps exchanging a gift of

appreciation.

Perhaps exchanging a gift of

gratitude.

Perhaps expressing

how much that person means to us.

Perhaps a gift of

listening and total presence.

Perhaps a gift of

forgiveness.

Perhaps a gift of

laughter.

Perhaps a gift a

compassion.

Perhaps a gift of

being kind

instead of

acting kind.

Priceless.

Copyright @ 2010 by Shervin Hojat

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