Can you think of what that might be? Some will automatically think chocolate, another will think love and yet another will think pen.
Any of these answers, of course, may fit but what if that someone doesn’t like chocolate like one of my friends or the expression of your love to your boss might seem inappropriate or someone prefers fine nib to the medium you gave them?
Yet, there is something that everyone appreciates. It comes in two parts.
One Christmas with a group of friends, we agreed not to buy each other gifts but to give each other something much more important – something that has lasted years. I still have mine from that first year. It meant a lot and has sustained me through some very difficult times when I doubted my abilities and even myself.
And this year, I would add another component. Often, it is something left unspoken amongst friends and family and others we interact with frequently or not often enough.
You can include these in a Christmas card or along with a physical gift or simply give it to them on a simple piece of paper.
1. List three things that you admire about that person. It could be how kind they are to animals or the way they help family, friends and neighbors in need or how their smile lights up everyone’s life every time they interact. Simple. One or two sentences.
2. Express your gratitude. Just one thing. Perhaps tell your husband how much you appreciate how he is a sounding board for issues at work throughout the year, or relate to your mother and father how their advice saved you a lot of time and energy or how much you appreciate your friend’s ability to make you laugh.
This gift can be given to EVERYONE on your list – everyone – your great mechanic who takes the special step of vacuuming your car, your boss who treats everyone fairly, your cleaning person who does such a great job week after week, your brother who helped you with renovations, your sister who guided you through a career choices – the list is endless – nieces, nephews, grandparents, friends, acquaintances, clients – there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t like to receive appreciation for their gifts and talents. And, everyone loves to receive an expression of gratitude for something they gave without expectation of anything in return.
You may be very surprised at the reactions. Some will cry. Others will be shy. And yet others will be pensive. It’s not often we share our good feelings about others’ talents and gifts. Everyone loves to be noticed. Everyone loves to receive a positive expression about the marvelous parts of them. Sometimes we appreciate what people do for us but we don’t verbalize it in writing.
Christmas is a time of giving.
Open your heart and fill others’ hearts with joy – real joy of connection – human to human. Make it about them.