Through the years and decades I have come to realize how the most important takeaway of this holiday season is the spirit in which we give and receive.
In the past few years I have found the gifts which I find great joy in giving are the ones which don't necessarily come at a great cost, but are the ones which I put more thought and effort into which I feel will are appreciated and cherished. I have also found more recently through my own experience that the greatest give I can give is something which will enrich someone's life by creating a memory or an experience.
I used to get caught up in finding 'the perfect gift' for those on my list which would cause me great angst and stress so I learned to let go of that ideal and instead be mindful of each individuals likes, interests, and passions and try to find things which would cultivate joy.
Joy is a noun and is defined as 'a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.'
This is a season to spread joy and the spirit of Christmas which to me is giving of yourself to others.
I noticed when preparing gifts this past week I felt great joy and happiness in writing the cards which accompanied the gifts I was sending. As I wrote each card I thought of that person and what they mean to me. An overwhelming feeling of gratitude and happiness came over me as did a smile on my face. I felt the true 'Christmas spirit' inside of me and hoped that the energy I was extending through my written words would be received with the same spirit of love.
When I gave some gifts out I was touched with the gratitude expressed to me about the thoughtfulness behind them. This made me feel joyful that a little extra effort was appreciated and acknowledged.
In return when I started to receive gifts from others I felt the energy of their generosity and thoughtfulness and humbly received them. I felt so grateful for the thought and effort that was put into the gifts I was given I held that in my heart and expressed my thanks.
Despite the difficult and challenging year this has been I feel the 'Spirit of Christmas' is stronger than ever as we go within ourselves to find out who we authentically are and express that to others. It is the energy behind thoughtfully giving and receiving which I feel brings and spreads great joy. Ultimately I feel that this energy behind our thoughtfulness and generosity is love itself.
I wish you a Christmas filled with great joy, love, peace + happiness and may the spirit and energy of Christmas touch your heart this season.