The holiday season is upon us.  Soon millions of people the world over will celebrate the Christmas holiday.  And, the tradition of gift-giving will be in the spotlight.

For many, the holiday can be a stressful time as they try to decide on the perfect gift for the people they care about.  Finding that gift can mean racing from store to store, or browsing through countless websites.  So when the day arrives, they’ll be able to give that “perfect” gift.

The tradition of gift-giving is firmly entrenched in the Christmas holiday, and there are even gift-giving “rules” and gift exchange “methods” to accomplish the gift-giving.  There are even websites that provide information on what and how to give.

Ways to gift

For example, here’s a list of methods and rules from one website.

  1. The four gift rule; A) Want, B) Need, C) Wear, D) Read – The idea here is to gift something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.
  2. The second hand, or handmade gift-giving only – the rule is just as it sounds, either purchase the gift at a second-hand store or make the gift yourself.
  3. Experiences instead of things – the idea here is to promote experiences, something that will be remembered versus something that is a material commodity.
  4. Secret Santa gift exchange – each person participating picks another person’s name out of a hat.  You become the secret Santa for the person you pick and they don’t know who their secret Santa is until they reveal themselves.
  5. White elephant gift exchange/Yankee swap – participants may swap gifts and do their best to get the best present.
  6. Icelandic Jolabokaflod (Yule Book Flood) Christmas Eve book gift – is an Icelandic tradition to gift a new book.
  7. Stockings only gift rule – participants only gift things that will fit into a traditional Christmas stocking.
  8. Santa sacks – all participants fill their Santa sacks with items they would like to give to those in need and place it under the tree on Christmas Eve.  Santa comes and empties the donations hide them somewhere and re-fill the sacks with gifts for each person that filled a Santa sack.
Christmas 2019

Trying to find the “perfect gift” can be stressful.

Do we need a store?

By now, you’ve read about a lot of ways to give the people you care about the best gifts possible.  But, does using any of these methods really end up with you giving the best gift?  From my perspective, the answer is a resounding no.

It’s nice to receive material gifts and the giving of one can be a pleasant and fun experience.  The receiver of the gift will likely enjoy the item for some time but eventually, it will fade in excitement, importance and ultimately memory.

There’s something more that you can give the ones you care about that hopefully will last much longer and leave a long term impression in your loved one’s mind.  What’s that gift?

It’s you.  Yes, giving yourself to the people you care about is the most important gift you can give.  Not only on Christmas but during the entire year.  With the strains of day to day living, we often forget about those we love and care about.  We might not find or make the time to be with them and to show them how much we really care.

Give the gift of yourself

Some of us may even mistakenly wait too long to show how much we care.  None of us is going to around forever.  None.  We’re all going to get our turn at the end of life.  Whether we believe in an afterlife or not, there is going to be a period of time that we will be separated from our loved ones.

If you have a friend who has lost someone unexpectedly, you know how much they miss their loved one and wish they had more time with them.  They can’t change what happened and there’s often a feeling of remorse for time not spent with that person and telling them how much they love and miss them.

So for me, Christmas and the holiday season are really not about material gifts.  It’s more about giving the gift of yourself to the ones you love.  When the holiday season comes around, it’s nice to hug a loved one a little longer than perhaps you would normally do.  Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them.  Make sure that they know they are the most important things in the world to you.  Tell them that there’s not a material item in the world that you would want more than them.

So when the percieved heat is on and you are trying to find that “perfect gift”, don’t forget that you can’t find it in a store.  It’s up to you to give more than material things, give them the gift that they will always remember… YOU!

Kim and I wish you all peace and a very special and Merry Christmas.  For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, you’re no different.  Give the gift of you.  We also wish you peace and a most joyous holiday with loved ones.

Mike and Kim and the entire Team

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