GIVE less, GIVE more
Thanksgiving is still six days away, while Black Friday advertisements have been in front of us for at least two weeks. Christmas lights are appearing everywhere and Christmas trees are up. Didn't we just finish the Halloween candy leftovers?
Before the tree goes up most of us are thinking of what we might gift our friend’s and family next month. Parties and social events are filling our calendars each day. Faster and more furious than ever, Christmas is here!
As guilty as any human can be, we once spent hundreds of dollars on gifts and then turned around spending hundreds to mail them to family and friends around the US. Caught up in the hamster wheel of making sure there were enough gifts from us under the trees of others. Of course, we were not thinking about the mass giving we were contributing to. It seemed normal, buying gifts, sending gifts and hoping they would ‘like’ the gifts. I felt I was being conscious in selecting the gifts from long ago, but I had it wrong.
Skip forward to the present and our gift giving ideas have changed greatly. In some ways because our choice to move to a rural setting and have less income for more freedom. But mostly the shift has come from releasing material goods from our home. Having less and wanting less has given me great freedom and I now realize that giving more was wasteful. To GIVE comes in a variety of forms, To GIVE time, to GIVE a talent, to GIVE a lunch date, to GIVE a meal are all acts of giving that do not come with a price tag but are really GIVING.
For my birthday this year a friend gave me the gift of a painting class that we would attend together at our local art museum. She happens to consider herself without any God given skill of painting or drawing. We attended the class and had a great time. This was a GIVE less, GIVE more gift that really started my thinking about how to GIVE more by GIVING less. The class was certainly more expensive than the gift of an object but it was worth so much to me. A gift I will not forget and one that inspired the thought process of giving less but giving more.
When making a list of what to give this year think about how you might GIVE more by GIVING less. How about a massage, a painting lesson, painting supplies, a session with a health coach, the gift of a handmade item by a local artist, pre-prepared healthy meals, or a donation to their favorite local charity.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give” - Kahlil Gibran