Give Thanks. Another gift where the cell phone is not welcome. When the table is set, and people are about to plunge into their turkey dinner, ask each person to give thanks for just one gift they have been given in the previous year. After each person gives thanks, be sure to let everyone around the table know that their presence in your life makes your life better.
Express Appreciation. Demonstrate your love to those around you in distinctive ways. For example, say, “I appreciate how you dress; I admire your style,” “I appreciate how you never give up but keep fighting!” Showing you care not only elevates the people around you but you as well.
Give Back. It costs nothing to volunteer. Most facilities such as kitchens for the homeless sincerely appreciate it when people volunteer. It is an extremely teachable moment. If you have children or Grandchildren bring them along. Tell them about how fine the line is between good fortune and despair. Between having a large family and abundance to hard times. Teach them that volunteering is a gift that always gives back more than is given.
Be Compassionate. Random acts of kindness are very empowering. They can include shovelling the sidewalk for an elderly person, leaving an anonymous present on the step of someone who is having “a rough time,” saying hello to people you don’t know or purchasing a coffee for someone waiting in the line behind you. The critical part is to do these things without any expectation of reciprocation.
Visit Shut-ins. Want to make a difference in this world? Visit a nursing home or seniors centre with a child, maybe with a present or two, and stop by and say hello to people. Unfortunately, many of our elderly spend many hours alone in nursing homes. The sight of a child fills many people with joy and happiness. The rewards of such visits will fill lonely hearts and fulfill souls who have forgotten that we are all in this cycle of life together.
As we move into the Christmas season I am often reminded of an awesome story that I heard years ago, which has been a constant reminder to me of the original spirit of Christmas. The story goes something like this…One Easter Sunday morning, a pastor came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage and set it by the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, the pastor began to speak.
One of my favorite gifts to give is books. If you're looking for some gift ideas this year here's five of my all time favorite books.
Each of them packs a powerful lesson in a quick and easy to read style. These books are so good I even paid both of my sons $50 for each book they read.