Monday, December 14, 2009

Giving as Self Giving

More than any other time of the year, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's is a season for gift giving. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa fall within this period. All of these celebrations involve gifting.

One important component of active spirituality is giving. Although I recognize the dangers of commercialization of any holiday, I also believe that the effort of giving gifts can be soul enriching.

When you give a gift, you have taken the time to think of what would please the receiver. You have also either shopped or invested time in making the gift. And you have taken time to wrap and deliver the gift.

When you think about it, the true gift we give is the gift of our time. Time is our most valuable resource. We can't make any more of it--that's why it is so precious. When we give our time to something or someone, we are saying, "You are important to me."

Giving gifts can be an act of self-giving. When we get in touch with the love that motivates us to want to give and then take the time to carry out this thought, gift giving becomes a spiritual act. I will try to keep this in mind as I wait in long lines at the Post Office this week to mail several gifts!

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