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What’s your favourite part about the Christmas season?
The decorations? Getting together with friends? The sumptuous food?
All of the above?
One of my favourite parts is the presents!!
I know, right??
I love presents … buying and wrapping them, that is.
The Christmas season is my excuse to shop. Each year my mission – and I choose to accept it (if you’re a Bond fan you’ll get that one) – is to find perfect gifts for each person on my list.
And when the tree is all decorated and there are dozens of boxes and bags with colourful wrap and glistening bows, I’m beaming!!!
The real treat, though, is watching each person open their gift.
I take a deep breath and cross my fingers that their eyes will light up and they’ll, well, feel the love.
But gifting – especially in the corporate world – can be an overwhelming task. It takes all kinds of resources – thought, time, money – and is it worth it?
Aha – showing appreciation never gets old
“We all like being thanked. It’s a great feeling to have someone, especially someone who doesn’t stand to gain, tell us that we made a difference in their lives.” wrote Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph. D, in an article published in Psychology Today.
Genuine gifting is about showing appreciation and gratitude. It’s never about obligation and no gift should ever come with an attachment or expectation (that’s called “trading”). When a gift is given with an abundance of appreciation, it’s as much a pleasure to the giver as the receiver.
“Being thanked and having reason to thank others are two sides of the same gratefulness coin. Both exemplify the positive in human behavior and provide us with a positive charge that boosts our emotional balance.” says Dr. Krauss Whitbourne.
And isn’t that exactly what we need during the holiday season – emotional balance??
Personal gifts can be as simple as a coupon to your friends to watch their dog overnight so they can get away or as grand as paying for a course that your niece has been aspiring to take.
The truth is, it’s not about the dollar value, it’s about the emotional value.
When someone adds meaning to your life and you give them something meaningful in thanks, you both feel that positive emotional charge.
Oh, and if that’s not enough, psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough point out that gratitude is the “forgotten factor” in happiness research. The benefits of expressing gratitude ranges from better physical health to improved mental alertness. We’ll all need that boost with all the rushing around and indulgence we’ll be doing!
Now … aren’t we just so very fortunate to have one another in our presence? (or is that presents? 🙂 )