The art, the gift, of giving

Christmas-time is a time for giving – but should it be the only time that we give presents?  Of course not; birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and many other times, are celebrated.  Life should be celebrated – to wake up every morning is a blessing; to be able to walk, to see, to hear, are all blessings.  Yes, when it is a special day or special time of the year, we tend to go the extra mile with presents and/or decorating the house.

In the old days, when there were far less shopping malls, people used to make their own gifts for each other.  Home-made preserves, biscuits, self-made portraits, knitted scarves, the list goes on…everyone made something by hand.  Today it is, I agree, much easier (and sometimes cheaper) to buy something; especially if it is something the person wants.  But I cannot help but wonder if a handmade gift doesn’t mean more?  Don’t get me wrong – no matter the gift – it is the intention behind the gift that counts.  When we give something with love, it is accepted with love.  Even just giving our time and energy can go a long way!

I love to watch a young lady, Catherine, on YouTube.  Her channel is called Dainty Dairies and she always have such wonderful ideas on how to make your own gifts by using things you already have and just upcycling it.  For example, you can take a tin or a jar, give it a brush of paint, and fill it with something sweet or salty.  Tie a ribbon around it and there you go! Or you can take old toilet rolls, give it a lick of paint and/or decoupage it, press the sides in and voilà, you have a small gift box to put some sweets in or anything small.

In our household we have decided, a few years back, that we are not going to spend a fortune on Christmas-gifts.  Instead, we give each other something that is on the wish list and instead, we spoil each other on our birthdays.  So, if you don’t know what to give, why not ask the person to give you a list of things and then choose from there?  Or, if you, like me, like to bake, why not bake something and put it in a beautiful tin?  The internet is full of ideas of DIY’s and I am sure there will be something to make for everyone; even if you are not a “handyman / handy girl” by nature!

At the end of the day, I do believe that it is not the amount of money spent on a gift that counts.  It is the time taken to make it (search for it), the love that went into it and the reason for giving it, that counts.  Time, energy and love are things that cannot be measured by money.  Giving is the exchange of energy and, when our intentions behind giving is filled with love, admiration and a sense of wanting to give, then it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter how big the gift is. To give something of yourself, whether made or bought, is what counts.  I personally don’t think that giving should only be limited to Christmas and birthdays.

Walking past someone and just smiling, going for a walk with someone you love, helping someone around the house, anything where you give of your time, love and energy, is giving.  The art of giving is to give without expecting something in return.  When you give someone something, then energy is exchanged and, whether you get something in return straight away or not, shouldn’t matter.  Sometimes a hug, a smile, a thank you, is enough!

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