On Giving

gift giving

Growing up I had hard times understanding how giving a present and not receiving one in return can make someone happy. As a kid, there probably isn’t anything better than receiving a gift. A mysterious object, carefully wrapped and given to you is exactly what makes the special occasion special.

However, with years I’ve learned that the joy of making someone happy is far more powerful. Without a doubt, being surprised by others is always pleasant. Nevertheless, being able to give something to others without any expectations to receive something in return is a whole different story. There’s something amazingly satisfying about witnessing a loved one unwrap a gift and respond to it with utter amazement and happiness. “Is this for me?”, “How did you know I needed it?” or “No, you didn’t! Thank you, I love it!” is your greatest reward.

I enjoy every aspect of gift giving. Thinking of what to get for loved one makes you remember conversations you’ve recently had and comments they’ve recently made. Even though coming up with the present idea can sometimes be challenging, that eureka moment when it comes to you can sweep you off your feet. And of course, getting a present to someone and keeping it a secret from them is exciting beyond measure too. To tell you the truth, even writing about it makes me excited!

The great thing is, giving is not all about physical goods and special occasions. In fact, from my experience giving little something to a loved one on a regular day when he least expects it is far more rewarding. Other times, taking time off your day to help someone or just be with someone can be as precious.

This year I decided to paint Christmas cards and send them to my friends and family that I might not get to see this holiday season. Having someone in mind when painting and writing the cards made this initiative a lot more meaningful, therefore, finding time to do it was really easy.

watercolor wreaths

But the most exciting part of it all is getting a message or a call from a friend who received the card. It feels great to make someone smile and let them know you remember and care about them.

In my belief, the act of giving has a lot to do with being present. Listening to others and carefully observing their environment helps to build a closer emotional connection, it also gives a chance for us to contribute to someone’s happiness. Even if it only means sending a Christmas card or treating someone to a cup of coffee.

Recently I’ve read somewhere that money can’t buy happiness unless you spend it on others. I must say I’m not that altruistic to agree with this statement entirely but I can understand where the person who said it is coming from. Even though being able to afford things gives us a lot of freedom, there’s only that much we can get to ourselves until we realize that all these things can’t replace genuine friendships and love. And isn’t that exactly what brings us true happiness and joy?

Saying that giving something to others is selfless wouldn’t be entirely true. At the end of the day giving rewards both sides. The giver gets to experience positive emotions that come from witnessing someone’s joy receiving a gift. And the person who is handed a little something feels flattered and spoiled to be receiving it.

During this magical time of the year, I encourage you to take a moment and truly appreciate not only the presents you will receive but also the thought one put into getting you that. Think of how much time they’ve spent trying to figure out what you’d like to get, not to mention spending their money and time looking for it and wrapping it.

Happy Holidays!

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