We celebrate the holiday season with the giving of gifts to our family, our friends, our neighbors and, most importantly of all, we give to those we do not even know. The ringing of the bell outside grocery stores, the Toys for Tots program, the angel trees, all are part of our traditions this time of year. The most obvious and dominant tradition is that we as a people, give to others. Why do we? We do it year after year because of miracles that happened many centuries ago.
The generosity of the season, not matter your religious beliefs, is truly a miracle in itself.
Gifts come in many ways. When thinking about what to give a loved one, a friend, strangers, go outside the box of materialism. This teaches your child that not all gifts are wrapped.
Everyone has a talent unique to them. Sharing whatever your talent is, such as singing, listening, cleaning, gardening, could make someone else happy.
The gift of donating blood saves lives every day. There are several blood banks in our county where you can donate.
Time is one of the most precious gifts we can give others. Spending time with your child, your parents or neighbors living alone is a gift that will bring a smile and a happy heart to the receiver of your time. Spending time with someone lets them know how important they are in your life. Everyone needs to feel treasured.
The gift of a kind word can change a person’s life. Never underestimate the power of a sincere compliment, a hug, a tender touch, a pat on the back. Touching heals emotional wounds.
One of the most challenging gifts you can give is forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others in spite of memories of unlovable times. Drop the stories of who did what and know we are all human and make mistakes and say things we regret.
This is the season of reaching out to others, giving as generously as we can, coming together to celebrate families and friendship.
May your heart be joyful and your spirit merry. May you not only give but receive. May the gifts you receive include forgiveness, hope, peace of mind and spirit, recognition of love, and a warm embrace of tenderness. This is my gift to you.
Katie Powers, R.N., is a board-certified lactation consultant and perinatal educator at Manatee Memorial Hospital’s Family BirthPlace. Her column appears every other week in Healthy Living. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.