Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino
tis the countdown to christmas and if you’re a little nervous about what you can still get in these last minute shopping hours, below is a list of gift suggestions that i have come to discover, in my 49 years, are timeless. While there are many to choose from, my best picks all have this in common: they won’t need bubble wrap for protection, don’t come in packages, do not require batteries and are perfect when returned and re-gifted. over and over again.
gift #1: your attention- to listen purely to someone with your ears and mind wide open. to be heard is the gift everyone needs and few receive.
gift #2: a compliment- to really see someone and to tell them sincerely, “you look very pretty” or “your home looks and feels so welcoming,” makes a warm blanket for the heart.
gift #3: courage- to be anxious about showing up and to show up anyway. to not miss living our celebrations because we are living our fears.
gift #4: your courtesy- a polite and gentle spirit will never go out of style.
gift #5: encouragement- giving someone the encouragement they need to grow tomorrow, may help them blossom in 2011 beyond their dreams.
gift #6: forgiveness- a forgiving heart can set everyone free. especially you.
gift #7: a hug- a body that offers a warm embrace at the perfect moment when it is needed most is a lovely surprise.
gift# 8: kindness- does not require instructions manual.
gift #9: a belly laugh- will be heard much farther than tears.
gift #10: patience- not always so easy to find at this time of year, but like underwear, you can never have too much of it.
so these are my favorites. no package no price tag. WHICH IS NOT TO SAY, we shouldn’t go excitedly looking under the tree for those delicious little bowed boxes with our names on them or perhaps an item that is just too oversized for tissue like a vacation trip to Paris or that pony you’ve always wanted. they are all wonderful. But rather to consider trying to recall a gift you got last year. And then the years before that. and even before. do you remember a special present you received as a child? is there a reason why the little-little ones tend to get a lot of toys. toss them to the side and are more intrigued with the empty boxes? i wonder if it isn’t because when we look back, what we likely recall more vividly than anything are the people who gave us the gifts. the invisible presents. they way we felt because of how they listened to us or laughed with joy just to be with us and watch us receive. the present that keeps on giving. our true heart’s desire. or as the great ralph waldo emerson once wrote, “the only gift is a portion of thyself.”
with peace and holiday blessings