Think BEFORE You Give

My husband’s birthday was last week and he doesn’t ever really want much, just a card. I listened and made him this accordion book “card” using his favorite poem from Robert Frost. At the time I was taking a book making class and used this gift to practice folding and gluing pages together. It was my self imposed ‘homework’ and I spent the evening after dinner in the class studio making his card. He loved it. I think the best gifts are the ones made by hand, especially when they include something special to the recipient.

It used to frustrate me that my husband didn’t really want much because I could think of a million things he would enjoy. Over the years he has taught me that gift giving is not about what I think, it is about what HE thinks. My job as the giver is not to impose my wishes or preferences, thoughts or will upon him. My job is to give him a gift that HE wants no matter how big, small, simple or handmade it may be. FYI – he has told me everyday since I gave him this card how much he likes it. Success! THAT is what gift giving is all about.

As we are knee deep into the holiday season, think before you give. When we truly want to give a gift, not just participate in capitalism or commercialism, our best path is to think about what that person might want instead of what we want to give. It’s not about us, it’s about them. The holidays are about celebrating the gifts the world has received and reciprocating that generosity towards the ones we love. By giving a gift we are reminding ourselves and the recipient that THEY are important, loved, cherishes and worth every penny even if we didn’t spend a dime on their gift.

So this week as you prepare for whatever holiday you celebrate, think before you give. Spend the time pondering what THEY really want, maybe it is as simple as time with you. Money, merchandise, gadgets and gizmos are not going to fulfill the deepest regions of their soul…being with you, something from your heart, and a reminder how much they mean will last longer than we could ever imagine. Think about daring to travel the road not taken and think before you give.

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