I love choosing and giving gifts and used to go totally overboard at Christmas. This year though I’ve had a rethink. Like many of us I’m much more aware of the impact on the planet of over consumption and non-recyclables like conventional gift wrap.
It’s also worth remembering that gift giving is only one way to show you care. The excellent book, Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, describes the different ways in which people like to give and receive love. According to Chapman the five are acts of service (or ‘helping out’), words of affirmation (being told how much you are valued and appreciated), quality time, physical touch and gifts.
With that in mind, this year I’m going to make an effort to choose from this list of five.
1. A helping hand. I know myself that I feel really cared for if someone sees I’m really busy and offers to do something to lighten my load.
2. A supportive word. It can be the smallest word of support that makes a person’s day. Commenting on how warm a check out person is, acknowledging how hard a colleague has worked or telling someone you appreciate them. It costs nothing and can mean so much.
3. Time. I realised after I left home that the sure way to make my parents happy was just to show up and spend time with them. Spending time with someone in this busy world, especially if they are lonely, can be the greatest gift.
4. A hug. Don’t you just love good huggers? Be one and give hugs as much as you can.
5. A thoughtful gift. Some people show their love by giving gifts. But, giving what you know will mean something special to someone can be way more important than spending a lot of money on them.
If you do decide on a material gift and know someone this holiday season who is thinking of changing their life in some way in the new year, The Strengths Workbook, might be the most transformational stocking filler you can give them.
Wishing you a very happy festive season and a magnificent new decade!
The photograph (above) shows a gift made for me by my friend Afroditi (https://www.instagram.com/afroditi314/).