What are the Best Christmas Gifts?

Bling is out—or at least an embarrassment, third homes are definitely out, rich people who didn’t invest in Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme are in and very put-out are people who are experiencing foreclosures, job lay-offs and, yes, still, the after-affects of Katrina.

Perhaps these headlines would have flared and faded, but these events are falling to a ground that is crumbling. Illinois Governor Blagojevich allegedly tried to “sell” the senate seat of President-elect Obama, cities that at least held their own are now economic ghost towns, almost every major industry is experiencing the worst economic downturn in decades, charitable giving has dropped and child and spousal abuse continue to rise. The world is indeed falling apart.

And its Christmas time—when holiday and family and community cheer should be at its highest. Instead, many are glum, anxious, angry and financially and emotionally bankrupt. How can you give when you need so badly to receive? Miracles seem in short supply, but, wait, there still is some unclaimed magic. Here is a brief list of the best Christmas gifts to give yourself and others that are guaranteed to help you capture some of that holiday glow all year long. All you need is a cup of bravery, honesty, laughter, gratitude and care.

  1. Give to yourself first. But what to give? Try forgiveness for starters. Make a list of things you would like to forgive yourself for. Be warned, however, that these lists only work their magic if you accompany each item with a PLAN for how you are going to prevent yourself from making the same mistake again.
  2. Keep your eyes open and listen to that faint voice inside your head that says NO. Warning signs blink all the time, but you have to be willing to see them AND act on them. The government’s Security Exchange Commission, for example, received reports and ample warnings about Bernard Madoff’s financial corruption, but no one wanted to see that, like in the children’s story “The Emperor’s Clothes,” the Emperor was strutting outside in his underwear.
  3. Make a list of friends and family you would like to renew contact. Send cards or e-cards. Have a bring-a-dish party for old and new friends.
  4. Keep a change-jar in the house, at work and in your car. At the end of each month, put it in the bank.
  5. Watch funny movies with friends and family. Laughter really does bring people together. Schedule regular laughter nights throughout the year.
  6. Make a list of what your kids or partner need from you. Is it more time? Understanding? These gifts don’t cost a thing—and the benefits of giving expand.
  7. Help a friend or charity and ask them to help you. Give time, ladle soup, bag up your old clothes. Then ask for any help that you might need.
  8. Give yourself the gift of self-control—and ask for help in doing it. What do you need to stop. Eating? Spending? Yelling? Not believing in yourself?
  9. Make a wish list of things you’d like to do—if only you were braver. What could be on your list? How about changing jobs or cities? Or maybe it’s get counseling for you and the family? Maybe it’s asking for forgiveness and support from others. Pick one or two things, get help, make a plan.
  10. Tell lots of someone’s that you love them—and ask how you can be loved in return.
  11. Happy Holidays.
  12. This article first appeared in Idea Masters of www.networkabundance.com

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Author's Bio: 

LeslieBeth Wish is a Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker and author who is nationally recognized for her contributions to women, love, relationships, family, career, workplace, and organizations.

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