If you are coming over from SITS: Welcome!! I am so excited to be starting December, and what a great way to start!!
Today I want to share with you a lesson from the Grinch. He can teach all of us a few things about Christmas. He can teach us a lesson of the heart.
I love Christmas. I love the smells, the sights, the sounds, the feel of Christmas. You see, Christmas is more than one day in the year, it is a feeling in your heart.
Sadly though, Christmas has become more about the size of your wallet than the size of your heart. I think we all can learn a lesson from the Grinch during the holidays.
Here are four generous gifts for the holidays that won’t cost you a dime. Perhaps, when you use these gifts, you will find you are not only giving, you are also receiving.
Let’s welcome Christmas with our hearts this year:
Listen has the same letters as the word silent. We do too much talking and not enough listening in our relationships. If you really want to give someone a gift this holiday, spend some time listening. Really listening. You will be amazed at what you will hear when you listen with your ears and your heart.
Several months ago, I ran into a friend at the store. I had been having what I thought was a pretty crummy day, and I was taking the back aisles because I just didn’t have anything left to give. As I ran into her, I stopped. I listened. Suddenly, she was sharing how she had been in a car accident and had a pretty horrible morning. She was worried about going home to tell her husband. I said very little. I just listened. You see, I didn’t have much to give, but I gave her a little time, and a squeeze as I left. She turned to me and said, “Thank you. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Thank you for listening.” I left feeling like even though I had nothing to give, I made a difference.
And, that made a difference for me.
You see, we don’t need to solve or fix other people’s problems. Most of them are able to do that themselves. But, we all like to be heard.
We all want some acknowledgement that we are important enough to someone that they will listen.
2. Withhold Judgment
We love to judge. I know, no one likes to admit it, but we do. We like to compare and then judge others. We like to point out little faults, because for some ridiculous reason, we believe makes us a little better. It is some insidious belief that if we can find fault with someone else, we can ignore our own faults. And, that makes us feel better.
But the truth is, judgment really doesn’t make us better, it makes us more and more in need of reassurance and validation. I have two words to deal with judgmental attitudes:
Let us just stop.
I have repeatedly found that we do not know one another’s stories. We only have a small piece of their picture. Our vision and understanding is limited. We don’t know what it is like to live in their shoes and they don’t what it is like to live in ours.
One gift we can give for Christmas, is the gift of understanding, forgiveness and non-judgement. It is difficult, but it is a beautiful gift.
The holidays are notorious for being difficult for many, many people. The holidays are stressful, money is tight, families don’t always get along, and people don’t always have loved ones around them.
Washing someone’s dishes, shoveling the snow in their driveway, picking up a few things for them at the store, driving them to their doctor’s appointment, or helping them put up their Christmas tree can be very generous gifts to someone who is struggling during this season.
You don’t always need to buy them a turkey or send over a box of gifts. A gift of service will very likely be remember much longer than a monetary gift. You cannot buy sincerity and compassion. That must be given.
Give the gift of time and self this Christmas. You will find it changes you.
There have been many times in my life when I have been face-to-face with someone who is facing a problem bigger than the both of us. These are the times when words and actions are pretty meaningless, and there is little that can be done to help. But, there is one thing we can do. We can pray. I know you may all have different beliefs about God, and I respect those, but I do know that prayer helps. Prayer can change things. Prayer changes me.
Give someone the gift of prayer this season. You both will be blessed by this simple power that doesn’t cost you anything.
Let us all share in this part of the season. The holidays give us the opportunities to share our love for one another. That, my friends, doesn’t cost a thing. We acually get kickbacks from these kind of gifts. They make us feel wonderful!
Do you have a memory of a Christmas where you received a gift of the heart? Leave me a note below.
And, in honor of my SITS day, all of the above pictures are free printables. Feel free to right click and download any of these for personal use. It is my gift to you!!
Have a wonderful, generous holiday! Be sure to come back and visit me soon.