The Gift of Giving


A few days ago, as I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, a particular quote caught my eye:

It is in giving that we receive.

Like you, I’ve heard or read these words countless times before (in fact, my Catholic school upbringing required that I recite them endlessly, too), but on this given day the phrase seemed to take on new meaning.

Why? Well, because the reason why I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram in the first place was to distract myself from the Christmas shopping I had not yet started, had not even wanted to commence, and was harboring great resentment towards as yet another chore I “had” to do. 

But the quote gave me reason to pause and reframe my gift-giving obligation for something quite the contrary. The names on my shopping list, after all, were more than just friends and family. They were people who in various ways were making my days better, who I was blessed to know.

So yes, putting thought into a gift that would make them smile would undoubtedly make me feel good; but moreover, my purchase would serve as a much-deserved “thank you” for all they’ve contributed to my existence all year long.

This mindset takes the commercialism out of Christmas. Gift giving is not a burden, it is a choice. It is an opportunity for us to let people know they are appreciated. It is a way for us to convey to someone that the love and energy they’ve put into us has made a difference.

And in return, the small gesture ensures that that energy continues to flow.

So if you, like me, still have plenty of things to be checked off your list, I hope you will take some time to repurpose the tasks that await you. Not only as an expression of sincere gratitude, but as a way of protecting your soul.

Because if you spend your days giving without receiving, then you’re simply pouring yourself empty.

And if you have people to buy for, then you are among the fortunate (and no doubt your recipients feel the same way about you, too).

Wishing you a week filled with spirit!