List your holiday blessings

Priceless—that describes most everything. Those things that have a price are those you need the least.


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The holidays are a season when we think about buying things—a lot. Most of us have lists of presents to buy. Many of us may have wish lists, too. Retailers rely on increased holiday sales to be profitable, so they encourage us to buy.

We line up in the wee hours of the morning to participate in special sales events. We browse and order online. We package up gifts and mail them to far-off places. We put a lot of thought and effort into buying just the right gift for someone.

We may worry about how our gifts will be received. Will the recipients like them? Will gifted clothing items fit? Will our gift be compared to someone else’s? Will the gift we receive from someone be of equivalent value to the gift we give them?

If we’re lucky enough to find or create the time, we may make someone’s gift. But many of the same concerns remain. Will our present be appreciated; will it be good enough?

All this focus on the gift obscures from us the importance of the recipient. We likely think more about what we’re giving than about the person receiving it. Are we giving them a gift because we want to show them love and appreciation, or are we giving them a present out of duty or obligation?

When we concentrate more on what we’re giving than on why we’re giving it, we devalue the recipient. We forget that, ideally, we’re giving someone a present because we care about them and want to share happiness with them.

During the holiday shopping frenzy, we forget that the world of stores and merchandise is a very small part of our universe. There are myriad wonderful things that have no price tag —clouds, sunsets, stars, snowstorms, sunshine, children’s laughter, a cat’s purr, a snuggling dog, holding hands with someone, a loved one’s smile. Not the least of these marvelous, priceless items are the folks for whom we’re buying or making presents.

Let’s take a moment to refocus, with the help of our sharing within. We’ll begin by placing our attention on our heart and visualizing a golden light glowing there. We’ll allow our breathing become slow and even. As we inhale the golden light becomes bright and steady, as we exhale the golden light spreads through and out and around us and our surroundings.

We’ll continue the gentle, rhythmic breathing and light visualization until we feel a sense of calm and steadiness fill us. This is the sign of conscious connection with our sharing within. Now we’ll make a mental list of everyone to whom we would like to or to whom we will give a holiday present. We’ll take a minute or two to be thorough, forgetting no one. Our focus will be solely on listing the recipients, rather than on what we will give them.

Now we’ll take a few seconds to think about each and every individual on our list. We’ll think about how we feel about them. Do we love them? Do we feel happy about them? If yes, wonderful. It will be easy for us to be grateful for them as a blessing in our lives.

If no, we’ll ask our sharing within to help us see them differently. We’ll ask to be shown how they help us and enrich our lives. The answer may surprise us.

Then we’ll count and tally up the number of people on our list. We take another few seconds to thank the sharing for making so many uniquely divine and wonderful people a part of our lives. We are truly blessed.

Finally, we’ll thank our sharing within for helping us see holiday celebrations in a new way. We’re lucky to have so many people in our lives whom we can appreciate. As we spend the holidays with people, we can focus, too, on what they mean to us. We can give them the gift of kindness, consideration, and attentiveness in our interactions with them. We can treat them as the divine beings they are. This will have far more positive impact, for us and for them, than any material gift we might give them.

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Divinely unique and beautiful reader, what helps you to appreciate the people in your life? Please share…