Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent Journal Day 21 - December 21, 2011 - Gift Giving

Gift Giving is a big part of Christmas, whether we like it or not.  Many people absolutely hate this part of Christmas, feeling it is superficial, wasteful and of course, complicated.
It is easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas and become frustrated by all the merchandising and marketing.  
But, Christmas is about the generosity of spirit.  And in that vein there are some guidelines for modern gift giving that make it a love filled gesture.
1. Gifts are not about money.  Gifts are an offering, not a requirement. It is about offering a personal, lovely  "something" to another.
2. Gifts should be about the recipient, not the giver.  I love chocolate, but giving it away to everyone is not a lovely gift, unless the recipient too, loves chocolate.  Instead, a true gift is given when the giver "walks a mile in a the recipient's shoes" and gifting them with someone they love.  This shows the recipient that you thought about them, considered their feelings and devoted time to them. 
3. Give and forget .  Give your gift and enjoy the feeling of giving the gift to someone you love, but after you give the gift, understand that you no longer have claim on the gift.  So, if the person chooses to give it away, never use it or adores it for the rest of their lives, treat it all the same, knowing that your job is done.
4. Accept gifts as graciously as you give them. Just as we learned in kindergarten, when someone gives you something, thank them whole heartedly.  Acknowledge their efforts and accept their generosity.  Many people find it awkward, feeling pressure to be polite.  Instead of feeling negative vibes, feel that the giver had your best interest at heart and wanted to express it to you.

 Day 21 Advent Journal 12.21.11
Write about a "best present" that you received.
 For my journal entry, I wrote:

I have been blessed with many wonderful gifts in my life: a Kitchen Aid mixer from my father that I have and still love 20 years later, a fantastic pair of boots that my 10 year old daughter gave me that included a note that said, “Momma, you are going to love this gift”, a beautiful pair of quartz earrings that when I wear, I feel like a princess.  I am grateful for all the gifts that my loved ones bestow on me.
One of my most favorite gifts is a photo album my 8 year old sister made me when she was in elementary school.  She gathered photos of both of us through the years and pasted them in a folder.  She wrote things about each picture.  I included this album in my portfolio while in college and my professor told me it was one of the most heartwarming things she has ever read.
I still have the book and I love it! Thank you, Veron.

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