Updated: Dec 9, 2021
When I was younger, Christmas was all about gifts, any little presents from my parents or friends would make me scream with joy. However, my desires have become a lot simple and, I think, much more in keeping with the true spirit of the season. Christmas, for me, means making memories that will last a lifetime. And even though so many loved ones are missing physically, they are all with us in spirit, especially during this time of the year.
But this note today is more about giving and receiving ...
I realized that very often the gift giving associated with Christmas can come with a lot of stress and disappointment. How many times do you find yourself in a situation when you say “Oh, thank you…but I didn’t get you anything”? Sometimes it’s hard to accept a gift without feeling the need to give one back. For a long time, I also struggled with this. Sometimes I didn’t give gifts that I wanted to, because I was afraid of imposing an obligation with my gift. It took time to realize not everyone thought the same way, some people can accept a gift graciously. I learned that when someone has the desire to say Merry Christmas, or Happy Birthday with a gift, my gratitude is usually all that’s needed to make the kind gesture complete. The same goes for compliments. In my past, when someone complimented me for a talk I gave, a work accomplished, a painting, I would say, “Thank you , but I wasn’t THAT good,” or found a way to deflect the praise to a mentor, colleague, or someone else.
Now that I am so many years older, and more emotionally intelligent, I learned to take these compliments with as much grace, and humility as I could muster. Because I allowed that to happen, the exchange felt complete, and I end up being emotionally high, and I hope everyone one around me, do as well.
This season, if you find yourself moved to be the generous gift giver, are you doing so without expectations? Conversely, if you find yourself overwhelmed with someone else’s generosity ( intangible, tangible, or financial) how will you handle it? Will you graciously accept, honor the giver’s gesture, and allow the exchange to be complete? It can be easy to forget how exchanges of gifts, if handled well on both sides, help us get closer, makes our support network tighter, and make it more beautiful.
I invite you to think about what your giving and receiving this season will do for you and for those around you. Whether there is money involved or not, you have the potential to enter the new year feeling a whole lot richer because of it.
I am taking this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for your comments, your supports, encouragement and kind words on my artistic journey. You all make my life complete :-) May there be more reason to celebrate than days on the calendar, and may you all have the happiest of holidays in the weeks to come.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !