A Gift To You

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Ah, the Holiday spirit! Preparing for family dinners and get-togethers, pitching in for the office festivities, expressing your love for those far and near by finding gifts, wrapping gifts, giving gifts - what joy! Or it would be "what joy!" if only preparing for the family get-togethers didn't mean conjuring an extra bed out of who knows where now that Cousin Emily (who never comes to anything) has decided to join the fray.
Or doing an emergency re-paint of the front room (thanks, kids, for the crayon art).
Or figuring out how to deal with everybody's special dietary needs and food allergies (what ever happened to everybody loves cake?).
If only pitching in for the office fun didn't mean baking cookies at midnight (why did you have to go and brag about your grandma's fabulous pecan cookie recipe?).
If only finding, wrapping and giving gifts didn't mean zooming around the mall (or slugging it out with other shoppers, more likely) on every lunch break for the next two weeks and standing in line at the post office until your feet ache.
But you really do enjoy giving and you really do love the holidays, and you feel unbearably selfish for complaining at all.
"So why don't you give a gift to you?" pipes up your eternally optimistic happy-go-lucky girlfriend who's just endured your Holiday diatribe, "I'll bet you'd feel much better.
" "So, what am I supposed to do, buy myself a pair of shoes and la-di-da everything's grand?" you retort.
"No," she frowns, "Something real - like peace of mind.
Gotta go - kiss-kiss," and she's off, leaving you to wonder "How do I buy myself a gift like peace of mind?" It's actually easier than you may realize, and certainly worth-while.
Your girlfriend is right.
In all that wonderful, blissful giving, the one person who isn't being given to - by you - is you.
Certainly others will give to you, and in giving to others you receive much, but perhaps, this Holiday season, there are some gifts to you that are uniquely yours to give.
For example, what about giving yourself a couple of hours, a solid block of time, at some point during the week/weekend, where you make yourself unavailable to all and sundry, put the phone and cell on "can't be reached"?Park the kids elsewhere, and indulge yourself in that book you want to read, the sketch you want to draw, that Internet genealogy research you've been lusting to do, that friend you so would love to see, that hike you dream of - that whatever it is you never make the time for and really would be, a gift to you.
Carve the time out very deliberately, set the date, and then write out a gift card to yourself indicating the event, date and time.
Stick a bright happy bow on your card (so you know it's a gift!) and tape it to your bathroom mirror.
Every time you see that card, consciously and subconsciously you will be reminded of that very special gift you are giving yourself.
It will make whatever hassle is involved in giving to others much easier to bear (after all, you're getting a terrific goodie too), and who knows? You might like it so much, giving yourself this type of gift might just become a delicious habit.
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