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Eight Holiday Gifts for the Soul

December 3, 2010

Holiday Gifts for the Soul:

The holiday season is on our minds, as we prepare to visit those we love, as we are inundated with advertising and sales. A while back I received this holiday gift from a friend. It was a way of taking the concept of gift giving that has become associated with the holiday season, and enhancing it with gifts of a more spiritual nature, reflecting the essence of the holidays. This time of year we look to bring light into the world. We see this reflected in the candles on our hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorah), the brilliant colored bulbs we place on our homes or Christmas trees, and special lights adorning our streets and cities. As we celebrate this season, I offer you eight gifts to “enlighten” your holiday that do not cost a cent. Please share them freely with all who are privileged to be a part of your life, children through adults. Within this simple checklist are a number of ways to nurture your relationships, bringing more light to those you touch.

1. The Gift of Listening

You must really listen: without interruption, daydreaming or even planning your response. Just listen.

2. The Gift of Affection

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. The Gift of Laughter

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

4. The Gift of Solitude

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

5. The Gift of a Favor

Every day go out of your way to do something kind.

6. The Gift of a Written Note

It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime.

7. The Gift of a Compliment

A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal,” can make someone’s day.

8. The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone.

These are eight important ways that we can bring the light of our love to others. They cost nothing, yet they may well be the most valuable gifts we can ever offer another. Their effects will go far beyond the moment, enriching our relationships, bringing joy and light to those we love.

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in: “How Can You Restore Broken Relationships?”

We post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Robin Damsky

Robin Damsky is the rabbi of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Illinois, and co-author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, tool kit, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

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