Halls are being decked across the land, stores are blasting out festive music and turkeys are getting nervous. Which can mean only one thing – the Christmas season is upon us. Thoughts turn to choosing the perfect, sometimes expensive, gifts for our loved ones. But are we losing sight of what’s really important?
Sure, it’s fun to surprise your friends and family with lovely gifts, but what if we offer them something far more valuable?
I’ve come up with 5 gifts your loved ones will really want for Christmas. So go ahead and purchase presents, but how about offering these gifts too:
- Love. This should go without saying, as it’s really obvious. Yet we sometimes forget to say and show just how much the people in our lives mean to us. Tell them, regularly! And show them via your actions and by considering their feelings. It’s the small gestures in life that can sometimes have the deepest impact on our relationships.
- Attention. It’s all too easy to talk to your loved ones without really listening. We chat away whilst doing chores, checking our phones or allowing our minds to flitter elsewhere. We sometimes meet their chatter with a disinterested nod. Give your full attention to the moment, really listen! Show them that what they have to say is important and respected. Give them the gift of a voice.
- Compassion. I know it can sometimes be hard, especially when you are mad at your loved ones, but try to see things from their point of view. Taking a step back, taking a breath and trying to understand what they are going through and having empathy with them has the ability to completely diffuse an argument. Metaphorically walk in their shoes, you might be surprised at the depths of their struggle.
- Belief. The simple act of believing in a person can have the power to completely change their lives. Time and time again, successful adults who grew up in dysfunctional homes have shown to have one thing in common – an adult who believed in them and supported their dreams. Do this for the people in your life. Cheer on their passions, encourage their dreams, be their greatest fan. Whether they accomplish all their dreams or not, your belief is of the utmost importance.
- Patience. This world we live in is filled with instant gratification. Fast food, instant downloads, instant messaging, microwave meals. Is it any wonder that we are becoming less patient with one another? Try to appreciate the joys in life that take a little time and patience. Instead of takeout make a meal from scratch with your child, or significant other, plant a herb garden, write a letter and send it snail mail. Enjoy doing things ‘old school’ and nurture your patience.
These are the gifts I try to give the people in my life, and not just at Christmas time.