Everyone wants to have happiness for themselves and their loved ones around the holidays. We wish people “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” and “Happy New Year,” but rarely do we consider what really makes us happy during the holiday season and throughout the year. If you think back on past holiday seasons when you were particularly happy, you will likely discover it had more to do with gifts you gave, people you were with, and activities you enjoyed rather than something you received.
While it is the season for giving, if we want to make people really happy, we need to look beyond just the standard stuff we buy at the mall, wrap up, and hand to someone. We need to explore the concept of sharing an experience, giving of ourselves, or engaging in a giving activity with our loved ones.
I often ask people to share with me their favorite holiday memories. Among my favorites are people who recount the experience of going as a family to serve homeless people holiday meals, giving toys or bicycles to less fortunate children, or simply spending quality time with special friends or loved ones. I actually have a friend who received a luxury automobile with a giant bow wrapped around it, parked in the driveway, as a Christmas gift, but when I asked her to share her favorite holiday memory, it involved going through a family photo album with her great aunt.
We’ve often heard it said but seldom do we act upon the fact that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” In my novel The Ultimate Gift and the movie based on that book, a prominent theme is the gift of giving. This concept is foreign to many people because, with the rush and commercialism during the holiday season, giving can seem like more of a chore or an obligation than a gift.
We are never too busy to give a kindness, share a memory, or engage in service to others. This time of year, people seem to be worried about spending too much money and overcharging their credit cards, but giving of yourself and sharing memories remain no-cost but priceless elements in the gift of giving.
As you go through your day today, give the gifts that matter. Share your time and your love.
Today’s the day!
This and other motivational pieces by bestselling author Jim Stovall can be found in his latest collection of columns, Wisdom for Winners Volume Four, an official publication of the Napoleon Hill Foundation.