Tis the Season for Giving

by Medea Beauvais, our Frown Turner Upside-Downer

You have probably heard the saying that it is better to give then to receive. It’s possible you haven’t thought about what giving really is. I can tell you one thing, giving is just as intangible as it is tangible. There is a giving spirit and means much more than placing a neatly wrapped parcel in the hands of another person.

One definition of giving is to freely transfer a possession; to do so while not under the control or in the power of another, without cost or payment. Seems simple, right? Giving without pressure, obligation or cost?

Think about giving your time. Are you able to do it without pressure, feelings of guilt or expectations? Let’s be honest here. I find it difficult to give my time to others without feeling something beyond a free transfer. I’m busy. I’m really, really busy. I spend hours in my car and work long days. If I give my time to you, I probably love you a great deal, benefit emotionally from your company. It is likely that I felt pressured in some way, even if the pressure came from my own brain, which it likely did. Perhaps you can relate.

Think about giving a tangible gift; maybe something you made with love. Are you able to do that without cost or payment? Break that down. Are you able to make something with no thought of how you acquired the resources or the minutes or hours logged during the making process? Are you able to give that gift without explanation or apology for what you see as imperfection? Can you do it without expecting anything in return, now or in the future? This one is much easier for me. I love to make things for other people. I can do it joyfully, without thought of cost. I love to think of the person who I am making a gift or meal for and send light their way as I work. I was fortunately taught that “imperfections” simply added to the uniqueness of something hand made; that the thing had added character. Are you able to embrace that thought?

It’s easy to get distracted during the giving season. It is terribly easy to forget what “giving” really means. We rush around with lists of people to give to, ideas of what and how much to give. We wait in long lines, spend money we may not even have on stuff people may not even need, and gripe about having so many people to buy for. Is that really what a “giving” experience should be? I admit I am not as good at giving under holiday pressure. It displeases me to add to the “stuff” people are already inundated with. I want to give in the true spirit of giving.

My challenge to you (and me) is to change your habits to reflect the true spirit of giving this holiday season. Step back and look at how you are executing gift giving. If you are overspending, ask yourself if the people you are doing so for would want you to be in monetary debt for them. Really think about your loved ones and ask yourself if they need more things, or if your time or a meal might be a better gift. I like the consumable Christmas idea. Can you freely transfer the possession of only consumable things this year? Perhaps you have a service or talent that you can freely offer. Whatever you do, do it freely, without pressure, without monetary concern, obligation or expectation for something in return. If you can do that, you are truly giving.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments are closed.