We’ve all heard the expression that Christmas is not just about giving and receiving gifts, it’s about the spirit of Christmas, which brings about love, kindness, and generosity, among many other emotions and positive actions. But regardless, each year, many individuals continue to overextend themselves financially, as they charge up those credit cards, feeling compelled to buy those gifts in the name of Christmas.
Many who cannot afford to do this do so year after year regardless, feeling pressure primarily from themselves to do so, and also not wanting to disappoint someone. If a person is disappointed because you did not buy a gift for them, that is their problem, not yours. My philosophy is if you can afford to buy many gifts for family members and friends, and it makes you happy, continue to do so, but if you cannot afford to buy a gift with cash, you most certainly should not charge it, just for the sake of one day. It takes self discipline to adhere to the personal decision to not charge gifts that you cannot afford and to not give in to the impulse to do so.
Each year at this time of the year, I like to remind my karate students of the 6 gifts that you can give all year long, that won’t cost one cent.
6 GIFTS YOU CAN GIVE ALL YEAR LONG
THE GIFT OF PRAISE
Appropriate mention right in front of the other person, of superior qualities, or of a job or deeds well done.
THE GIFT OF CONSIDERATION
Being careful of the other person’s feelings. This includes seeing his or her viewpoint and having the humility to say “you’re right and I’m wrong.”
THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE
Never forgetting to say “thank you” — and never failing to mean it.
THE GIFT OF ATTENTION
When the other person speaks, listen attentively. If his or her words are directed to you personally, meet squarely eye-to-eye. Above all, don’t keep looking at your phone or watch.
THE GIFT OF PRESENCE
In sickness, trouble, or in a day of great joy, there is nothing quite equal to your personal expression of sympathy or congratulations. Just being there for another person in times of need is priceless.
THE GIFT OF INSPIRATION
Plant seeds of courage and action in the other person’s heart. Help to strive for greater accomplishment and lasting satisfaction. Know that your presence in their life has made a difference.
Praise, Consideration, Gratitude, Attention, Presence, and Inspiration are all priceless gifts, free to give. Put that credit card up and start giving gifts which are far more important than what a credit card could buy. That’s what the spirit of Christmas is really all about.