I love gifts.  I LOVE giving gifts and I love getting gifts.  I like the brightly colored wrapping paper, I like the thought that went into the selection of it, I love the look on someone’s face as they watch you open a gift they’ve just given you, I love thinking about the person who gave you a gift when you see it/use it/enjoy it months later!  I love everything about gifts and gift-giving!

I have to admit, in the past, I’ve probably overdone it a bit on gift-giving at Christmas. When your kids are little, it’s just so much fun to have stacks of gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. But this year, with our kids getting older and our family growing, we decided to draw names. I’m excited about this because I have a feeling that the opening of that one gift will be all the more special!

But what about the gifts you can’t see?  The REAL GIFTS we can give ourselves and others this holiday season?

I think one of the greatest gifts we can give is our presence.  IE:  SHOWING UP!  Especially during the holidays, it’s easy to get so busy with extra company, cooking, shopping, travel and parties that we forget to slow down and CONNECT with the people around us.  Simply by being present and taking time to fully LISTEN to someone.  ASKING QUESTIONS about their life and they’re story. ENGAGING with them by simply being PRESENT with them.  Once you’ve experienced this, you know what a gift it can be. 

I encourage you to also think of the gifts you can give YOURSELF this holiday season.  Maybe it is something tangible like a new outfit, tickets to the theater or even new car!  But maybe, maybe it’s a subtler gift.  Maybe it’s the gift of self-acceptance.  Loving who you are and where you are right now.  No more judging yourself – just loving yourself! 

Maybe it’s the gift of flexibility.  Carving out small niches of time where there are no to-do lists, no schedules and no planned activities.  (Even if it’s just for a few hours once a week.)  With so much to do in a day, it often feels like my world is planned in 15 minute increments!  What a gift to have a whole afternoon with no agenda!

Maybe it’s the gift of fun and laughter, more time to exercise, scheduling a movie marathon, having lunch with a friend, saying only nice things to yourself or fasting on Tuesdays!  I don’t know what it is that would make your world better, only you know that, but whatever it is, I say Merry Christmas to YOU!  Give yourself a gift that will make a REAL difference in 2017!

big love kim     img_1590