Gifting for me is ideally an organic, spontaneous, spiritual act, initiated as I move through the world and see something that I ~know~ would be cherished by someone I know; I take enormous joy in facilitating that process, in finding the perfect gift for the perfect person, in being a conduit for synchronicity to occur.
I love the gift that comes at the perfect time, the well-placed act of kindness that turns someone’s day around. No special occasion is necessary, except the special inner prompting that identifies a need and see a path to meeting it. I love responding to a hunch that such a person should have such a thing, and hear the gasp of wonder that comes with a wish made manifest. I love gifting when I give myself over to serving as a conduit for the will of the gods.
I seek those moments; I actively search for opportunities to share the joyous energy that comes to both giver and receiver. Gifting is an exchange of love, even when the perfect gift is given to a stranger. It is a means of connection, linking hearts in a moment of shared joy. I have received gifts in my life that I try to pay forward, and I love participating in the energy that is exchanged when we reach out our hands in generous giving.
As a spiritual practice, I cultivate this form of gifting throughout the year, whenever I can. It brings me great joy. But I find it very hard to engage in this intuitive form of gifting around the holidays. I have to engage with the gifting process on a whole different level that I find quite artificial, forced, and uncomfortable. There are expectations and obligations to contend with. There are relationships that vibrate on the tuning fork of holiday gifting. I am forced to change my entire approach to gifting: I have to make lists, figure budgets, and then begin to wrack my right-brain for ideas about what my gift recipients might like. All of it is a strain.
In order to give my intuition room to assist, I sometimes find myself window-shopping for ideas, which means overcoming my overwhelming aversion to crowds. As an introvert, holiday crowds means most shopping centers are gauntlets to run at a high cost in personal energy. I get distraught in large crowds, and retreat from the whole experience. Commercials, normally muted in my household, now get grudging attention as I search for gift inspirations. I wade in the rough surf of commercialism and hope to keep my feet beneath me. But with the sheer volume of gifting that is expected of us at the holidays, I get overwhelmed. I get decision fatigue. I lose the joy that gifting can bring me.
Each winter, I am given an opportunity to try a different approach, to find joy in holiday gifting. Yet each season, I feel great relief to put the winter holidays behind me. This year, I am once again earnestly seeking to connect with the joy of gifting in a way that feels more authentic to me. I will once again seek to balance the conflicts of expectations with the joy of a well-placed gift. I will resist the urge to avoid the holidays, but to expand my heart large enough to embrace the process, challenges and all.
Seek joy. Words to live by.
Happy holidays to all, howsoever you celebrate them.