The Spirit of Giving...

Hello All!

I was lying on the chiropractors bed...couch...piece of equipment...whatever it is called, and was listening to Smooth Jazz. I think that is the station of choice in all doctors offices, and began thinking about all that has to be done now that it is December and then I realized I was suppose to be relaxing!

The Spirit of Giving. That is was what this whole next few weeks is about. It does not matter what holiday you observe, or practice, or even which ones you don't. The push is on... the retailers and merchants and cyber merchants and advertisers are all over everything. Unless you live on another planet, it would be hard to miss all of this!

I do love Christmas! I love Christmas because of what it means to me and my family. I look at, Christmas as an opportunity to tell all of those people that matter most to me that I love them. I like to shop, well maybe not actually shop, but I do like to decide what gifts I think people might like. I like to anticipate the opening of the presents I have spent time looking for and planning for. I like to start each hectic period of Christmas/Holiday planning with a list of all those people that I would like to give a gift to. I know that sometimes not everyone wants some thing, they may want less, or they may want you to donate to a cause in their name. The point is, that everyone likes to receive gifts...well maybe a gift if someone is trying to keep a low carbon footprint.

In the last year, our family has grown. We now have two additional participants! My daughter is engaged and my son is engaged. With that I get the chance to think about two new people, learn what they like and then try to figure out how to celebrate them through the gifts I choose, in a way that hopes to make them happy. I look forward to this new challenge. I am spending time trying to think about what each one of these people would like and the message that the gifts I choose send to them.

Hmm... the message that the gift sends. The Spirit of Giving. I am working on figuring out how to channel the inner Santa in me that likes to truly go over the top. I am the kind of person who thinks more is better on Christmas morning. I like to think that a large number of packages under the tree is a ton of fun! I still like to count them all and make sure that each person has the same number of packages to open. That of course can lend itself to pure gluttony on my part! I love it, my husband tolerates it and does not ask how much the tally is, because he secretly loves it too. He loves the response on the faces of the gift recipients. He wrote me a beautiful card last year thanking me for all the time and thought I put into trying to make everyone's Christmas fabulous. That is my goal...a daunting one!

This is what I am working on now. ( We did participate in a bit of "Black Friday" shopping last week while my family was out in New York, and then quickly ran back to our hotel and hid.) I am working on figuring out the right kind of giving for each person involved in our family now. My kids, although they are now all adults, are used to my over the top behavior. They are use to me making sure that everyone has the same number of packages and I hope, and actually believe that they delight in this strategy. Now, I am trying to invite the new members of our family into the fold. I want them to have the same number of packages. I want them to know that in doing that, I am trying to make them realize that they are now part of this group...The Saxelbys...plural.

It is tricky this Spirit of Giving thing. What works for me, may not be the ideal for anyone else. Or, what has been the practice for our family, may not be ideal for someone else. So, what I am attempting to do now in the next weeks of planning and buying and preparing, is to pause...yes, pause and think about what works. What works for the people I love most and the people that they love most, and are inviting to be a part of our family. I want to make sure that in the Spirit of Giving, I am truly thinking about it from the perspective of who I am hoping to give to. I think that is it! Hmm...thinking of others.

The Spirit of Giving. In the crazy run up to the holidays, and it is often a true sprint...pause. Pause and think about what message you want to send, what gift sends the type of message you are opening to give, and then enjoy. Maybe the best gift is as simple and lovely as the gift of time. The time to truly enjoy the ones that matter most to you in a way that makes them happy. Time to pause, time to relax, time to celebrate and enjoy the gift of each other. Because, even though I still like the idea of having lots and lots of presents for everyone I love, that is not the true gift. The true gift is the gift of family, and love and time.

The Spirit of Giving....the gift of ourselves to each other. With each holiday season, learning, growing, evolving, celebrating. Celebrating the changes, celebrating people, celebrating time. Time to enjoy those we love most.

Ah Ha! That is it! The best gift, the perfect gift....each other!

Until next time!