As you may have noticed, there’s a ton of hoopla around the holiday season. I’m all for hoopla, but I’ve never been a big fan of the cultural and corporate mandate to spend, spend, spend on gifts for our loved ones.
Sure, it’s great to give the little ones a new toy and watch them spin around for ten minutes before they get bored. Or give something really special to your mom or boyfriend or sister or best friend. But so often, it’s an obligation to buy. An obligation that ends up sitting on your credit card balance for a few months (or more). And eventually ends up in a landfill. Not cool.
As creatives, our gifts go deeper. We can make, build, write, perform, cook up or otherwise construct something beautiful, meaningful and/ or delightful, that simply does not exist at the mall or online. What we create has deep meaning, connection.
Our gifts come from within. Our love is infused in our work. The intentionality of writing a poem for someone you deeply care about is worlds more meaningful (and memorable) than pretty much anything shipped in from China.
What was an amazing gift that someone made for you?
For me, one of the most poignant gifts I ever received was a magic marker drawing from my friend George. One summer afternoon in the early 90’s he colored up a surreal image of me playing guitar with my gigantic curly hair flailing around in the August heat. I loved George. And I loved that drawing.
George died tragically a few years ago. But when I look at this image I feel like he’s right here with me again. Like we’re back at Camp Log-n-Twig as a bunch of college students, sweating the summer days out there in the mountains.
When you make something for someone, it’s a gift that transcends the physical. Whatever you create is a part of you— your love, gratitude, skills, experience, perspective. Giving that to another is at the core of what gifting is all about— giving a piece of yourself to another.
Hopefully, we do this all the time with our words, our actions, thoughts, intentions. Putting it into a tangible form makes it extra special. Even if it’s just a magic marker drawing.
What gifts from within are you giving this year? What gifts from within have you given?