You're Always the Gift

Embodihed_You're_the_Gift

If I were Santa, I think I’d put big-box companies pummeling me with all these emails, mailers and commercials on my naughty list. Really, I would. There are only so many sales and shouting shopping enthusiasts my eyeballs and eardrums can handle. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday… Talk about overwhelm.

Instead of being the season of buying more stuff, can we make it about the often overlooked season of being? Although it may not be glam, we all know the best things in life are free. Everything you need you already have, and life's happening for you without a single thought.

The Glee of Christmases Past

As a child I remember waking up to the warm sounds of a Miami-style Christmas in my Nan’s house. It really was the best day. Wrapped in a swanky 70's bathrobe, I'd hurriedly say my good mornings to Dad, Nan, aunt and uncles and head for the tree to pick and parcel brightly wrapped gifts for everyone.

With giggly anticipation whirling around like the flutter of butterflies in my belly, I'd make my way over to my pile-o gifts to carefully arrange each shiny box full of possibility and promise into a line. It didn't matter if it was a substantial gift or two socks wrapped separately, I loved just looking at those boxes. OK, the opening part was tops on my list too.

After a day filled with gifts and parties, Christmas night was sealed with an infamous tuck-in by my Nan. We'd lay side by side in my twin-sized bed as she serenaded me with my favorite carols. We'd mull over each and every gift before the final goodnight. Hands held. Hearts open. Love shared. She'd say goodnight, and off I'd float to sleep.

When You Stop Believing You Stop Receiving

One childhood Christmas holiday in particular stands out. It was the night I unexpectedly walked right into Santa's workshop (aka adults wrapping gifts on the kitchen table). Honestly, I don't know that I ever truly believed in the man, the myth, the legend. Don't get me wrong, I loved the hype of the Ho-Ho-Ho-meister: cookie plate with note, carrots for the reindeer, looking for gifts tagged by Santa because they were usually the best... So what to do about Santagate?

I had stumbled into the ultimate game of chicken. Just like me, the adults dared not flinch. There was no hiding. We were all stuck. I had to keep going. My groggy eyes stretched the limits of my peripheral vision to search the table, barely breathing as if a single breath would 'out me'. Um, already done. My strategy was to bee-line it to the fridge despite wanting to implode from overwhelming 'get me out of here' anxiety levels.

By the time I made a second pass, the loot was covered up. All was good, right? Wrong. With every breach there must be an interrogation. As I was tucked in, I was asked if I saw anything. Du-du-dunnnnnn. The stakes were so high. A table full of gifts from Santa hung in the balance! I shook my head no as I remembered what Nan always said, "When you stop believing, you stop receiving".

Where am I going with all this? I'll tell you.... in this season of being, can you keep believing in yourself as the ultimate gift so you keep receiving all that life's meant to offer you? It's better than any thingamabob you might buy in the store.

How to Feel Like the Best Gift of the Season

As adults, the awe of the holidays often gets overshadowed by stuff to do, self-judgement and, for some of us, yearning for happier times. Regardless of what your holiday has in store for you, let's see what happens when you treat yourself as the magical, wondrous gift you are. Here are four simple ways to believe and receive more this season:

  1. Get giddy with it (Na na na na nana): Flash those pearly whites at yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning to get your feel-good vibes flowing. If you're not a morning person, then you can get the same bennies from simply curling the corners of your mouth upwards ever so slightly. You really can't have a 'bad hair day' kind of day after a 'good morning sunshine' start.
     
  2. Handle yourself with care: There's no doubt you've spent time, thought and money on products, clothing and accessories you like and feel best on you. So why pinch, prod, slather and shove when you're getting ready? Instead, how might your day change if you indulge your senses in how those specially curated goodies feel? Getting off auto-pilot to silence your critter brain can change how you see yourself in the mirror and treat yourself throughout the day.
     
  3. Marvel at your gifts: Your body takes care of 5 million+ things every second. To be more specific, that's about 432,000,000,000 things done on your behalf every day. Knowing that your body takes care of hundreds of billions of things, the odds are in your favor that even an extra cookie won't cause mayhem. Breathe into that trust to keep your stress response at bay so you avoid digestive dis-ease and judgement.
     
  4. Good night, Dear Heart: As you unwind from your day, share what happened with someone who loves you unconditionally. Think their thoughts about you, see your reflection through their eyes and fill your heart with their feelings for you. This could be a loved one, a pet, or someone who's passed. Remember, the special someone you choose loves you unconditionally, so relive the highlights and release anything that could weigh you down. It's the ultimate version of practicing self-love.

My wish for you as we turn the corner to 2017 is that you receive all the best life has to offer. Feel free to share your thoughts or well-wishes for our community in the comments below.

Did you know?

Between November 1 and January 15 there are 29 holidays observed by seven of the world's major religions?

You really can’t have a ‘bad hair day’ kind of day after a ‘good morning sunshine’ start.
Everything you need you already have, and life’s happening for you without a single thought.
Jennifer SchaeferComment