Whatever you received this Christmas from family, friends or loved ones, these gifts are transformational. Don't believe me? Then take a minute to think about that person and the gift they gave. First, they took time to think of you. They spent money or effort to obtain your gift. They took the steps to give it to you. Their love and generosity were wrapped up in their physical gift.
How did you respond to the gift? While sometimes we are excited by the gift and what it will do for us, at other times the gift may not be a perfect match for our needs. However, we can be thrilled by the thoughtfulness and effort of the giver. How did you respond? With a verbal thank you, a quick hug? Did your gratitude get lost in the chaos of Christmas morning?
I want to challenge you, and myself, to take time to reflect on the people who blessed you with gifts, cards and thoughtfulness this year. What did you most appreciate about their effort? How did it bless you? Was their gift especially thoughtful? generous? creative? Remember, no one has to give a gift. It is a choice they make. As I used to tell my kids, "if you appreciate something, be sure to say so."
What if you took the time to talk with or write a personal note to each person that gifted you and told them exactly what their thoughtfulness and effort meant to you, being vulnerable and specific. I encourage you to share your feelings, your gratitude, your sincere appreciation. (I am challenging myself too, as I am not always the best at remembering to show my gratitude.) What about their gift especially blessed you? I think this expression of gratitude has the potential to change you, the other person and your relationship.
I do believe that gratitude transforms our perspective and attitude. It takes us outside of ourselves. It causes us to think about another and to be selfless. It creates positive energy and multiplies joy. I have personally experienced the transforming power of gratitude expressed on a daily basis.
As we travel through the Christmas season, many have forgotten the original reason for this holiday and the ultimate gift that was given to the world over 2000 years ago, and is still offered to each of us today. I believe it is a transformational gift. "For unto a child is born, unto us a son is given..." Love entered our world so we could know Him more completely. Have you taken time to consider the immeasurable love wrapped up in this gift? Have you expressed thanks for what this gift means for your day to day life?