Today is December 21 and the clock is ticking big time. Likely, for the procratinators among us, today the realization that it will soon be Christmas landed. Today however, is likely not the first time you realized that these are very difficult economic times. In today's culture there is expectation at Christmas of tangible, wrapped up and tied with sparkling ribbons kinds of gifts. I too, have traveled the highways and byways of our town, Asheville, N.C. www.cumberlandfalls.com,in search of a gift or two. Today, I suggest to you gifts of another kind. Several years back a friend of mine spoke of these kinds of gifts. I never forgot the talk. So now, to all my friends out there I pay it forward.
Christmas Gifts of a More Lasting Kind:
Offer a smile to someone who might need it more than you know. It counts double if you really don't feel like smiling that day. Take a moment to tell someone you value them and why. It breeds happiness in both the giver and the receiver.
Look for an opportunity to do an act of kindness that no one knows about but you and your maker. The next time you stop for coffee or a sandwich look around you and make a mindful choice to pay for another diner's meal or take a moment to open the door for a caregiver pushing a wheelchair. It's hard to push a wheelchair, hold your purse and open the door too.
Make a moment in life easier for someone else. This can be as simple as choosing not to be difficult in a situation where you have a right to be & just letting it pass. Likely, it is not all that important anyway. Isn't it refreshing when anyone really tries to go out of their way and supercede their responsibility to make your life easier? How grateful we are when that happens. It can be as simple as opening a door at the post office for someone you see burdened with packages or not being disagreeable with a service person who has not performed as you had hoped.
Take a moment at the end of each day to be grateful for your circumstances. Some days may not be as you hoped. Illness,financial burdens, caring for elderly and the time crunch all of us deal with daily can take it's toll on our emotional outlook. There is always something to be grateful for and most of us don't have to look all that hard to find it.
Pray. I nearly didn't put this down due to the controversy religion sometimes generates. In nearly everyone's life there is something that is a source of pain, dismay, or possibly even desperation. Many of these things we are powerless to deal with ourselves. We cannot fix them & despite our most valiant & consistent efforts, we remain unable to effect change. God is not powerless. Prayer offers a sense of peace,hope and the feeling that though we cannot be effective in a situation, God can.
Now, I mentioned earlier my friend who talked with me about these types of gifts. She provided a much longer list but frankly, it was a bit daunting. I think I will start small and perhaps, over time, all these things could become a good habit. Now, if this stuff caught on "wouldn't it be loverly?"
Merry Christmas and May your New Year be filled with opportunities to offer gifts of a more lasting kind.
Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls