It is very easy to forget the reasons we celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or other such religious holidays. The lapse of memory is due in part to the need to “get our gift shopping” done.
As we focus on giving or receiving the right and perfect gift, our focus may be upon material items. This skewed vision of the purpose of these special holidays has left many people disappointed, frustrated, and “financially challenged.”
The holidays are also a very sad time for many people. The reasons are diverse and numerous. However, the remedy for this sadness may be applicable regardless of the reason for the holiday blues. Giving from the heart can be a wonderful tonic for those holiday blues.
O. Henry wrote a wonderful story that demonstrates the beauty of giving from the heart. In his story, “The Gift of the Magi” Jim and Della, a young married couple, so much in love and so poor faced a Christmas with great sadness. There was no money to buy a gift for each other.
The young lovers each sacrificed something of great value so they could give a gift to the other. Jim had a watch of great sentimental value. Della had beautiful long hair of which she was very proud.
As the story goes, Jim sold his watch so that he might buy decorative combs for Della’s hair. She in turn cut and sold her hair to buy a watch fob for Jim’s precious watch.
Why has this story touched the hearts of millions? I believe it is because of their acts of love powerfully demonstrated giving from the heart. Gifts that are given unselfishly, with no expectation of a return, are the ones that bring us the greatest satisfaction. The gift does not have to be material, it can be the gift of time or an expression of love, without regard for whether it will be acknowledged, appreciated or returned.
With a “no-strings-attached” act of giving, you experience a sense of satisfaction that does not come when certain “expectations” are attached to the gift.
The greatest gifts are given from your heart, not from your head. These gifts are given from your feeling nature, not from your “I must or I should” attitude. It is also important to give a gift to yourself – the gift of time. During the holidays, steal away for a period of time to be by yourself. Your soul will appreciate it.
Affirmation for the Week:
“I am a responsible, unselfish giver. I freely give from my heart the gift of time, appreciation, and love to others, with no demands or expectations. I enjoy the holidays and I look forward to a joyous New Year.”
Have a joy-filled holiday season!
Mary “Motivator” Rau-Foster