15 Days of Happiness :: Give a Gift
There’s nothing like receiving an unexpected gift. I’m pretty sure that the only thing better is giving the unexpected gift. Once upon a time I felt like I was a really good gift-giver. It was back when I only had a few little children and I was pretty much still in control of my life. I had more energy and resources than they required of me, so I focused on becoming a good giver of gifts.
As our family became larger and the older children required more (and ate more!) my time and resources were all directed toward simply taking care of my family and I didn’t have much money, time or creativity left for giving gifts. I began to hesitate to give them because I felt they weren’t good enough, and they certainly didn’t feel like an adequate expression of my regard.
I’m repenting of this folly. Each of us is of infinite worth. There will never be a thing I can give to someone that could possibly match their worth. Some of the gifts I give will be perfect and some may feel more like I’m offering dandelions instead of roses. But a gift is a gift, and if it’s offered from my heart with sincerity then that is good enough. We must learn to give gifts without expecting a certain response, expression of gratitude, reciprocation of gifts or recognition. When we let go of all expectation and simply give the gift with no emotional strings attached, we experience joy. The purity of our intent allows us to feel joy in the giving no matter the reception.
I am also learning how to give gifts that are hard to give. Perhaps it’s a thing we hesitate to part with, or time we don’t feel like we have. We can give “expensive” gifts without spending a penny when we share our time and efforts. These gifts are, in some ways, the healthiest to give. They stretch us and make us bigger than we were.
I recently gave a treasured out-of-print book to a friend. It wasn’t easy to part with a favorite I may never see again, but it was the right thing to do and has made me happy every time I reflect on it. Simple little things like a package of mints or a bottle of favorite nail polish can be delightful if wrapped with a pretty ribbon and a kind note. It takes effort, but the return is totally worth it.
Today, give a gift. Maybe you just finished reading a book you enjoyed. Wrap it up and give it to a friend. Stopping at the grocery store? Grab an extra pound of strawberries, tie a bow around them, and write a note to someone telling them how much you appreciate them. Keep it simple, but put your heart into it. It only needs to take 5 minutes but it will make you happy.
Have a great day!