The Gift of Giving

As I have been preparing for the holidays, I have been pondering on what to give to those around me, especially my neighbors. As I was pondering (and using Pinterest of course :0p), I stumbled upon directions to make a basket out of bread. I thought, "Perfect for the neighbors!" However, as I sat thinking about what I would put in the basket, I came to realize some things about what the basket represented to me and what I wanted to share with my neighbors and family members.

Some of the things I learned and that are helpful to remember during the holidays when we are giving gifts are:

· It is a true gift to be able to give a good gift and it takes practice.

· It isn't a competition to see who gives the best gift, or the most complex dessert. Yes, we got caught up in that one....never want to see another homemade caramel or fudge bite again!

· Less is more. As I take a load of junk to donate, I sometimes wish that we could get one well thought-out gift rather than several that don't mean as much. We have also started enjoying gifts of activities rather than of things.

· Remember there are other occasions to give gifts and we don't have to do it all right now. Spread out the fun. :0) I always forget about birthdays, anniversaries, and the like during the holiday rush.

· Compare what you need vs. what you want or what the person you are giving to really needs. Do they really need a Tickle-me-Elmo??

· Give thanks. I realized that I wanted to show the people around me that helped us out throughout the year our gratitude. Our families rely on our community and it is nice to be able to say thanks to those who help us out.

· Ask yourself what things are important to you and what would you want to share with others?

For me, the most important part of gift giving is what you share of yourself with those you are giving to. For me, I like being able to share about the Savior, as that is a very important part of my life. So, I really liked being able to find the bread baskets as gifts because they could represent the Savior as the bread of life and I could share that with those I gave the baskets to. Having a gift that represents what you want to share with someone makes it easier for you to share. Some other things that I like to share are the joy I have in friendships, play groups, and in being a family. Family pictures, newsletters, and letters are some of the ways I have shared that joy.

So, my challenge to you as we have the opportunity to give this holiday season, is to share something important to you with those around you and practice the gift of good giving. And if you like, you can share with us your success, or what has worked well for you in the past, in the comments section!

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    Elise Grant
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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