I made my first batch of Christmas baking yesterday – lots of cranberry, pecan and apple muffins! I was about to send some in a small basket to one of my son’s friends who just came home for the holidays as he studies in Nova Scotia when I thought, “Why not make it feel more special and get in into a nice Christmas cookie bag?” I did so and it looked quite pretty, nicely tied with a little red ribbon. Needless to say Kory felt quite happy and special receiving it. It made him feel welcome back home in our small community.
Why did I take my time to wrap it? This goes back a long way – to a lesson I learnt when my daughter was 2 years old!
We took her to a Christmas party at her dad’s workplace. Jolly Santa Claus sat on a stage, called out the names of the kids and gave each of them a present. Dawn received a beautiful chair just perfect for a little girl of her age. To our shock and embarrassment, she threw a fit at Santa Claus and threw the chair back at him screaming “This is not a gift! It is not wrapped!!! It is not a gift!!”
We tried to console her and encouraged her to accept the gift but she cried all the way home, feeling very upset and disappointed that Santa Claus did not give her a Christmas gift. When the management group heard about the incident, they sent a wrapped gift to her and her eyes lit in excitement when she received it. She eagerly opened the package and was delighted to find a doll inside. The value of the doll was much less than the chair but having it wrapped made all the difference.
Dawn’s response to a unwrapped present created a lasting impression on me. What is it about wrapped gifts that captivates us so much? When I receive a wrapped gift, I feel special. I feel that the giver has paid special attention to me and have thought of every detail to make me feel special. I feel excited wondering what is inside the wrapped gift. Sometimes the gift is wrapped so beautifully that I don’t even want to open it – I could sit for hours just enjoying it. When I give a gift, I take time to wrap it too! I feel good on the inside and happy that I can add joy to someone else’s life by giving a gift.
I believe that gift giving is an act of altruism – an unselfish concern for the well-being of others. When we give without expecting anything, we are also improving our psychological health. Giving presents to others is a way to express our love and reinforce appreciation and acknowledgement of each other.
Last year I asked a friend what kind of gift she would like wrapped and she said, “If you give me a roll of money unwrapped – I would be just as excited without the wrapping!”
Imagine me giving you all the money you need to buy those lovely gifts and wrapping them beautifully for your loved ones.
TuneIn to expect the needs of others this holiday season. StepUp to and wrap your presents! It’s not about the money or the effort it takes… it is all about the thought of reaching out, anticipation, appreciation and creating good feelings.