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Holiday Survival: Gift giving

Woman holding wrapped present

Gift Giving as a Practice of Love

Gifts: they’re fun to receive and can be even more fun to give! My husband Peter, is an excellent gift giver. In fact, I believe it is his preferred way of expressing love. He is considerate, generous, and most importantly thoughtful about each gift he gives. Peter is a master of finding just the right balance of personalized attention and non-expectation of anything in return.
For some, both receiving and giving gifts can be a real challenge. The burden of expectation or attachment of obligation associated with gifting, can take all the joy of of it.
Giving a gift is a universal way to show interest, appreciation, and gratitude, as well as strengthen bonds with others. When done well, gifting benefits BOTH the giver and the receiver. But as much as we love to receive gifts (especially those truly given without attachments), we live in a culture that reinforces some misconceptions about giving and receiving. I’m sure you’ve heard it: “Its better to give than to receive”.
By definition a “gift” is meant to be something bestowed voluntarily and without compensation. And yet how often do we feel EXPECTATION attached to a gift? So here’s a gift I bestow upon you… permission to let that $#!+ go!

I’m not saying we shouldn’t give, I’m just saying we need both!

Consider these REFRAMING ideas about gifting:

  • It is as honorable to receive as it is to give.
  • Our attention is the greatest gift we can offer another.
  • Absence can be the perfect gift for those who do not appreciate our presence.

Did you know that our brains gift us a hit of dopamine when we find the right gift … giving us an emotional lift. Additionally, we receive a similar emotional boost when our gifting is received favorably. When we see the expression of joy, gratitude, surprised delight on our recipients face, we often feel the same!

When I receive a reply to these newsletters, I receive it like a gift. So please reply and I’ll send you a gift too! But also, consider a gift for yourself, a way to gift YOURSELF some extra attention for your self-care practice this week. Here are some examples,

  • Spend some time journaling. Recount the ways you have blessed others.
  • Invite a friend to take a walk with you or to share a chat over a cup of tea.
  • Send yourself a love note… and put it in the mail! Receive it with an open heart when it arrive back in your mail box.

However you decide to invest in yourself, know you are worth it!

Wishing you abundance of love and peace.

-kimberlyn 🙂