During the holiday season, most of us are all busy shopping for our loved ones. And as much as I love any occasion where we are celebrating life, or a tradition that brings the human spirit together in celebration. I believe it is equally important to not get lost in the commercialized hype of gift giving, be it for a certain holiday occasion or in instances where you may be giving a gift to buy forgiveness or to soften your guilt.
Don’t get me wrong I love receiving gifts, especially when it is something I like and it is unexpected!
With that being said, gifts are a lovely way of showing thanks, love and appreciation. And by all means, if you want to get a gift for someone because you value them in your life and you want to show appreciation, or simply want to extend a kind gesture like paying it forward, do it! It’s good for the soul.
The problem I have with gift giving is when it is used to influence someone, be it a child or a loved one.
Often we find situations where parents buy things for their children to make up for the time they are at work and not being able to be there for them. Or someone buying a gift for their significant other because he/she has been missing in action in their lives or did something that needs forgiving.
In these circumstances, I can see the gift as being as part of the gesture to make things “better”. However, if you frequently miss out on the life of those who you care about, patching things up with a gift will only take you so far.
You know deep down, what the other person wants more than anything is your love, your time, your presence and to be heard.
How many times have you seen two kids screaming, talking over one another to get the attention of their parents? How many times have you had to cancel your plans on your loved ones or even friends because you are too busy at work or attending to other priorities?
If your answer is more times than I want to remember, I want to challenge you to look within and re-evaluate your priorities. Ask yourself what can I do to create more quality time to spend with my loved ones? Or if it is circumstantial, discuss the impacts it’ll have, listen to their concerns and work it out with your loved ones. This helps alleviate misunderstandings and creates trust and reassurance in your relationship and reinforces the love.
Next time you buy a gift, consider your intention because although gifts make people happy, it is short fleeting. Like JLo’s song, “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” the ultimate gift you can give the people you care about is your time and presence, to show that they matter and are loved. This makes me wonder, if we all spend a little bit more time and paid attention to our loved ones, (especially children), showing them we love them, will this help our world be a more loving place?
Theresa is an 80’s music lovin’, Old Fashioned drinkin’, freedom livin’ travel junkie sent to zap living a double life right outta you. Get your free insights on life lessons for a work in progress here. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.