On the Eve of Christmas Eve

I struggled with my last Christmas gift, but I’m finally finished, and this gift is actually the best one because it is the most meaningful to me, and I hope the person who receives it thinks so as well (otherwise this person can return it to me… I would definitely accept it back as a birthday gift, or anytime really).

The problem that I have with gifts (besides the fact that my heart is two sizes to small this year) is that I want the gifts to be meaningful, more than just something I think the person might like. I want it to be something that they will definitely like and appreciate and use and wonder how they lived without it before, which is why gift giving is hard. Very few things measure up to those standards because the most meaningful present is the hardest to give: our time. And for me, you can throw in my compassion, my acceptance, my support. These are the hardest gifts to give, and the most valuable, the ones I should be giving every day. Physical presents are nice, they make life comfortable and sweet, but these other gifts are essential to happiness and peace. And they mean so much more than another gazingus pin, sweet though it is.

The problem with these other gifts, time and compassion, acceptance and support, is that they are so hard to wrap. I want to put my promise, “I promise to be more compassionate toward you,” in a box and tie it with a bow and put it under the tree, but what would be in the box? Empty air, until I’ve put my words into action.

So I challenge you this holiday season (and I challenge myself): put your gifts under the tree in their pretty little packages, and say thank you for the gifts that you receive. But in your heart, give a real gift. Give the gift of you time. Give the gift of your compassion. Give the gift of your acceptance. Give the gift of your support. Give these gifts to the people it is hardest to give to. Give these gifts even when you know you’re right. Give these gifts especially when you think they don’t deserve them, or when you think you’ve given enough, or when you feel that you have nothing left. Give a real gift this Christmas. Make the intangible real.

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