Year after year my wife, children, close friends, and business associates ask me what I want for Christmas – what I’m wishing for. (That doesn’t always mean they’ll get it for me, they just ask.)
I always tell them the same thing. “I don’t need anything and I don’t want anything.”
It’s not that I’m a scrooge or unappreciative of the gifts people want to bestow on me. It’s just that when I want or need something, I buy it. Whether it’s a new tie or a gizmo from the Apple store, I know exactly I want, what will work for me, and what won’t. I’m not ungrateful. I’m fussy.
This year when people have asked me what I want I’ve been giving them a very different answer.
As always, I tell them I don’t want or need anything. Then I tell them what I’d really like would be for them to fill a box with stuff they’re not using any longer and donate it to a worthy cause.
Or I suggest they could:
> Smile. Not a smile at any one person in particular, but at the world – like when they walk down the street or stand in line at the checkout counter.
> Hold the door open for someone struggling with a lot of packages.
> Let someone else squeeze into the parking space they were hoping to capture for themselves.
> Take time to visit with people they haven’t seen in months or years. Call or Skype the ones they can’t visit with personally.
> Thank everyone – the ones closest to them, the ones they work with, the ones they work for, the ones that work for them, and the ones they see across the counter everyday at Starbucks.
> Be grateful for all that they have – their health, their family, their friends and their prosperity. Prosperity has more to do with what we give others and how we feel inside than with what we accumulate.
> Be grateful for all their talents.
> Look for good everywhere and in everyone.
> Give their time generously to someone who needs a lift.
> Be patient with themselves and others.
The best part is when others give me this, there will be nothing for me to take back. I won’t need to exchange anything for a different color or size.
Best of all, those who give me what I’m asking for this year will know with absolute certainty I’ll not only appreciate what they’ve given me, but I’ll be energetically re-gifting to others.