Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman
You probably already have most of your holiday gift list completed. You may have gone overboard on the spending or held tightly to your budget. Perhaps you made a bunch of gifts by sewing, baking, or using your unique talents in a personal way. Now you have crossed your children, spouse, mother, neighbor, close family relatives, and coworker off your list. You have just about completed your gift-giving list.
But wait! Are you forgetting somebody? What about yourself? Are you on your own list? What are you giving to yourself this holiday season? "Give to yourself? That sounds selfish," you may be thinking. Maybe not. Instead of self-ish, giving to yourself might be creating the condition of self-full. And by becoming self-full you might just be giving to others in a unique and important way.
This holiday season consider giving yourself several of the gifts below.
1. Give Yourself the Gift of Alone Time – Take time for yourself. Find a quiet spot in the house and relax, read, meditate, or take a power nap. Reenergize yourself with rest and relaxation. You are worth it.
2. Give Yourself the Gift of Intention – Become intentional. Do what you do on purpose. Create a plan and follow through just as you intended. When you set an intention you set in motion forces that attract whatever it is you need to make that goal materialize.
3. Give Yourself the Gift of Timelessness – Refuse to be a slave to the clock. Stop the hustle and bustle of the holidays. You have enough time. Stop focusing on the clock and end the hurry-up pace of the holiday season. You deserve it.
4. Give Yourself the Gift of Exercise – Your body is designed to move. Go for a walk, swim, or ride a bike. Strap on the snowshoes, cross-country skis, or hiking boots. Fire up the Wii Fit and work up a sweat. It feels good to move. Give your body what it really wants this year. Fill up on movement.
5. Give Yourself the Gift of Treats – Treat yourself to a piece of pumpkin pie or a second helping of mashed potatoes. Take a momentary break from your healthy eating plan. You are not a bad person if you enjoy that chocolate chip cookie or Christmas fudge that Aunt Myrtle made. Just make an agreement with yourself that you won't go overboard and eat the whole pie or polish off the entire plate of fudge. Moderation is the key. Give yourself that key and unlock holiday pleasure for yourself.
6. Give Yourself the Gift of Seeing It All as Perfect – You won't always have control over what is happening this December. But you do control how you choose to see what is happening. If your child is being disrespectful to her grandmother, you can see that as terrible or as perfect—the perfect time to help her learn a valuable lesson about respect for the elderly. If your child ignores relatives by playing a new video game, refuse to see it as rude. See it instead as the perfect time to set healthy limits on electronic time.
7. Give Yourself the Gift of "Getting To" – When you think you "have to" do something, you create stress for yourself. Drop the holiday stress by changing your thoughts from "have to" to "get to." You don't have to bake that pie. You get to bake that pie. You don't have to drive three hours to be with your parents. You get to drive three hours to be with them. And you get to give yourself the gift of "get to" this year. Why not begin today?
8. Give Yourself the Gift of Loving Service – Do something for someone else. It feels good on the inside. Warm, peaceful feelings come from serving others. Remember, giving and receiving are one. When you give to someone, you receive a sense of connectedness. Warm yourself with that positive inside feeling this holiday season.
9. Give Yourself the Gift of Personal Protection – Don't take what people say or do personally. Grandpa’s grumbling about your child's behavior is not about you or your parenting style. It's about him and where he is right now in his own private holiday moment. If Uncle Willie doesn't like the Hanukkah gift you gave him, let it be about him and his personal preferences, not about you or your gift-choosing ability.
10. Give Yourself the Gift of Knowing – You know how your children need to be supported during this time of year. Believe that you know what you know. What you think about what is good for your children is nobody else’s business. Go with what you know. Trust that you know what you know about the people around you. You already know that Uncle Joe frequently makes hurtful offhand remarks. So when he does this year, don't let yourself get worked up about it. Uncle Joe is just staying true to himself and what you know about him.
11. Give Yourself the Gift of Imperfection – Grant yourself permission to not be perfect. You can make a mistake when cooking the meal, giving a gift to the wrong person, letting the kids eat too much candy, or being late to dinner. You can even drop the turkey on the dining room floor. This meal, this day, this gift-opening ceremony, this trip to church is not going to be perfect. So what? Enjoy it anyway. You and your family are worth the imperfection tolerance that you create.
12. Give Yourself the Gift of Beingness – Make a "BE" choice this holiday. Choose to BE happy, quiet, loving, understanding, patient, forgiving, energetic, helpful or reflective. Remember that your beingness is as crucial as your doingness. Let what you choose to do flow out of how you choose to be. Making a BE choice is an inexpensive and important gift you can give to yourself this holiday season.
The self gifts listed above are not expensive. You don't have to wait for them to come in the mail. You don't have to search through catalogs to find them. No holiday traffic needs to be battled to find them. They are all within your grasp this very moment.
When you become self-full with the suggested gifts, you will have more energy, more patience, more love to give to others. By gifting yourself, you simultaneously gift the other important people in your life. Isn't that what gift giving is all about? Enjoy.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of Parent Talk Essentials. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free Uncommon Parenting blog. To obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their website today: www.uncommon-parenting.com.