O, season of giving; you are upon us!!
Giving gifts, especially at this time of year, can be fraught with anxiety or emotion. It is very easy to get all tied up in knots over: Have I picked the right thing? Have I spent too much or too little? Am I expected to give this one or that one a gift? These are givers who want to follow the rules.
Then there are those who have expectations of return: Here is my mother's heirloom necklace. I saved this newspaper from the day you were born. This book means a lot to me and now I'm giving it to you. These are givers who believe they are bestowing meaning (their meaning, of course).
There are givers who only operate from a place of obligation: Well, I have to give something to Bob if I give something to Marsha. My postman is terrible with my mail, but I have to tip her or she'll deliberately be even worse. I haven't spoken to my sister-in-law in years but she always sends a gift, so I do too. These are givers who begrudge the holidays.
Of course, for many, giving can be a joyful, playful, genuinely fun experience. Yet, even those people can feel a bit overwhelmed in this month of uber-giving.
No matter what your approach to giving may be, remember this: When you give, let go. If you can and wish to give generously; if you cannot be as profligate as other years; if your gifts are homemade or store bought, cleverly thought through or re-gifts -- no matter what, when you give, let go. No strings attached. No expectations over how you feel about it and certainly not on the recipient. Just give. And then, let it go.
Give. Breathe. Be.