‘Tis the Giving Season

Yes, many would say this is the season for getting, and with all of the chaos that goes along with this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the details.  At its core, however, Christmas is for giving and the happiness that goes along with it.  Anyone who has given a gift knows to some extent the joy that one can feel when they give something away.  There are so many positive consequences that follow such selflessness that it’s amazing we don’t all take more time to do it.  Some examples include:

  1. Relieves stress
  2. Increases self-esteem
  3. Encourages more civic involvement
  4. Lower blood pressure
  5. Assists in coping with depression
  6. Increases happiness
  7. Promotes social connection
  8. Activates the reward center in your brain, meaning it releases endorphins
  9. Protects and betters local communities
  10. Longer lifespan

With such incredible benefits, why do we struggle so much to do it?  Why do we get so caught up in getting when giving is what provides us with real, lasting benefits?  In the moment, receiving something seems much more exciting than losing something.  We are surrounded by a constant barrage of newest products and latest trends.  There are constant sales, advertisements, and needs that need to be met.  Christmas can easily become a labyrinth of responsibilities and desires.

Despite all of the chaos, take a moment this holiday season to focus on what matters.  Christmas is built on a foundation of selfless service and love.  Don’t be afraid to minimize your responsibilities this year.  Recognize what actually matters.  Share that love with those around you, particularly those who may be commonly neglected.  As you take time to focus on giving rather than getting, you may find that in the end, you receive the real gift.  A gift of happiness and peace that can be so difficult to find in this ever more chaotic world.  Have a wonderful Christmas season.