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The underlying message of every ad is “Buying this thing demonstrates your commitment to your relationship.”  That is a lie.  

The person that you are; your personality with all its quirks and curiosities; the value that you bring to the people you know and love you: it is enough for everyone on your list.



Today of all days, we are bombarded with messages and pressure to spend money in order to increase favor with others.  The underlying message of every ad is “Buying this thing demonstrates your commitment to your relationship.”  That is a lie.



We burden our brains, empty our wallets, and deplete our energy and joy stressing about the impression our gift will make on the recipient.  It’s unnecessary.



How would you feel if, instead of giving you a gift, your dear friend/relative told you, “You are special to me.  Instead of exchanging gifts, can we spend one-on-one time together?”



I’m betting that you’d smile and gratefully accept the offer.  Do you really need another coffee cup, pair of slippers, or picture frame?  Probably not.  Your friend/relative probably feels the same way.



What would it feel like to share an hour or two with a friend, being present, reconnecting, listening, being listened to, while sipping tea and catching up on each others’ lives?  Probably really good.  Probably really fulfilling.  A blissful escape from the madness of the shopping malls.



What is most important in this life?  The older I get, the more certain I am that it is our relationships:  loving, serving, and sharing with one another.  This is what makes our lives meaningful.



Some presents that are all about your presence:



  • Sharing a cuppa


  • Strolling the neighborhood, beach, a botanical garden


  • Hiking


  • Painting/coloring


  • Looking at photo albums (the kind that lays heavily in your lap on not in your hand)


  • People watching at a neighborhood park


  • Playing board games (literal, physical board games; not the virtual kind)




This Holiday Season, make the effort to do more connecting and less shopping.  You, your wallet, your heart, and your loved ones, will feel fuller.



You don’t have to purchase, spend, buy, obtain anything to maintain that unique place that you have earned in the lives of your sacred circle.  Rest in the knowledge that you are special, important, valued, irreplaceable to the people who love you.