I’m old-school. The Christmas season doesn’t officially begin until after Santa Claus appears at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Thanksgiving has passed so the Christmas season is now officially here! You may now put up your Christmas decorations and play Christmas music.
This is the season when we take our focus off ourselves and focus on other people. Our thoughts turn to giving and thinking of others, especially those who are close to us. Feelings of joy fill the air. However, some of us fall into the trap of letting the season turn us into stressed-out, guilt-ridden and debt-accumulating individuals; we lose the feelings of joy. Don’t fall into the trap this year. There are plenty of things you can do that give to others and show you care that won’t cost you an arm and a leg or countless hours in the mall in the maddening crowd. Give the gift of you. You can:
- Bake a casserole or dessert
- Cook a meal
- Edit a paper/report/essay/book
- Read a book to someone
- Drive someone to an appointment or to an event you are both attending
- Do errands for someone
- Pay for the order (food, coffee, etc.) of the person in line behind you
- Take care of someone’s child or elderly parent so he/she can have a night out
- Visit and talk with someone
- Be an accountability partner for someone working on a goal
- Write a letter (yes, on paper with a pen) letting someone know how much you appreciate him/her
- Shovel snow, rake leaves or mow the lawn for someone
- If a person is not tech-savvy, update his/her cellphone, check the virus protection status on his/her computer, or set up folders for his/her email account
- Compliment the cashier on his/her work when you finally get to the register
- Give a “coupon book” of activities you’ll do
There are hundreds of ways you can gift yourself to a person you want to give a gift to during this season; these are just a few. Take a moment to think about something you can do to make another person’s day bright, to make another smile or laugh that won’t cost you an arm and a leg or countless hours in the mall in the maddening crowd.
What does this type of giving have to do with personal development? Glad you asked. As I wrote in an earlier post, It’s All Part of the Same Pie, personal development not only encompasses the way you think, it also encompasses five other areas of your life. This type of giving improves your physical being (less stress), finances (lessens debt), relationship with others (do I have to explain?) and your emotions (again, do I have to explain?) and your spiritual relationship (showing love). This type of giving also develops your character and inspires you.
Give the gift of you this season! Have joy overflowing!