This audacious tip may just help you have the most love and delight-filled holiday season yet!
"Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money."
Are you ready for the most audacious, outrageous holiday tip? It’s not about the best temperature to bake a roast or how not to yell at your mother in law even when you want to. It’s not about what shoes are best to wear as you beat the streets for stocking stuffers and it’s definitely not how to stay slim in the middle of endless holiday party temptations. But it may just help you have this be the most love and delight-filled holiday season yet.
This time of the year has always mystified me. The intent is a beautiful one: 'tis the season of love and giving, after all. Yet the actuality is a far cry from the intent: it ends up being mostly about giving and getting a bunch of stuff no one really wants or needs, out of obligation, and running ourselves ragged – and getting into scary debt – in the process. There’s mostly no love for what we give, what we get, or how we acquire, give or receive it.
Now, it would be wonderful if there were a ton o’ love in the things being bought or got, but for the most part, there's not.
OK, it’s true, I was raised Jewish/Buddhist/New Age and the consumerist craze never lodged in my developing heart. One year I did manage to convince my parents to get a Christmas tree, although what turned up was a branch, since they didn’t want to sacrifice the whole tree.
Before you accuse me of Scroogitis around the holidays, don’t forget that it’s the time of year that suicide rates go up, we over-eat, under-sleep, get stressed out, gain weight and burn the candle at both ends. Despite our country's economic recession, we remain the land of plenty. How much more of what we don't want in the first place do we really need? All I'm saying is maybe we could peek behind the curtain of this culturally sanctioned sadness and madness, masquerading as gladness, and alter it all just a little bit.
Instead of RE-GIFTING all those gifts you'll be getting that you didn't want in the first place, consider DE-GIFTING. Don't know what to get that special person? Don't get them anything at all. Blame it on Rudolf.
Imagine: no gifts given or gotten, aside from the ones that truly mean something, are truly desired, or you are moved and inspired to give.
So, this holiday season, consider one way you could DE-GIFT:
1. Don't buy any gifts unless the person you are buying them for truly DESIRES them.
2. Let your friends and family (and office peeps) know that you don't want any gifts unless they are truly INSPIRED give them to you.
3. Pay it forward. Instead of reciprocally giving a gift to someone who’s given one to you, pay forward some magical deed to someone more in need than you.
4. Volunteer creating holiday food boxes or at a soup kitchen. In my book, it’s not a bad example to set: instead of putting your efforts into another charmingly wrapped paperweight, put it toward to a family or person who’s got astoundingly less than you ever will. Check with any of these sites to find out places in your area to volunteer: http://www.holiday-project.org, http://www.volunteermatch.org or http://www.anthonyrobbinsfoundation.org/basketbrigade/getinvolved.php.
5. In lieu of needless gifts given or gotten, consider a micro-finance loan instead:
Kiva (http://www.kiva.org) and World Vision Micro (http://www.worldvisionmicro.org) are two amazing organizations that take your small donation ($5, $25 or more), and put it in the hands of a person in a developing nation, in the form of a loan that must be repaid.
Most recipients start a micro-business with your loan that gets them out of poverty, sends children or family members to school and totally changes the trajectory of their lives.
You get to watch their progress, too.
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to think of the school in Sri Lanka that got new desks or the new heifer that got added to a herd managed by a young couple in Central America. These were two of the DE-GIFTED wedding gifts that my husband and I “got” instead of a fourteenth toaster.
All for the price of a Starbucks gift card!
"A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver."
~Thomas á Kempis
May your heart be audaciously, outrageously full to bursting with love and gratitude this holiday season!
LiYana Silver, CHC, RYT, MaNLP, has been called many names: “A relationship magician,” "The archangel of intimacy, love, sensuality and evolution," "...witty and wise..." "... a bright light on The Path..." “A gifted teacher, coach and relationship expert with a huge heart and an obvious commitment to making a difference in this world by supporting more loving, healthy and fulfilling relationships." She’s also been called a relationship expert, master coach and advocate for switched-on women world-wide.
LiYana works with change agents and thought leaders who are rockin' making the world a better place, but whose relationships may be a tad rocky. She helps them transfer the excellence they bring to most areas of their lives onto their relationships, and trade up often a lifetime of painful patterns for partnerships that make them say, "Are you kidding me? I can't believe it's really this good! And it just keeps getting better and better!"
LiYana maintains a private practice as a Relationship Coach, speaks nationally, has appeared on dozens of radio and TV shows, maintains her website and business, http://www.love3point0.com (cuz 1.0 and 2.0 aren't working so well!) and writes for various magazines and blogs — including YourTango.com!