The Spirit of Giving

As we all know, Christmas is about giving. But, contrary to the popular belief that giving is about giving to others, I truly believe that giving starts with ourselves. Before we can give to others, we must first take care of our own needs. Otherwise, when it comes time to give the best of ourselves, all we have is our tired, worn-out self. That’s why we must give ourselves the best life has to offer; then we can freely give to others.

For some of us this holiday season, giving to ourselves may mean drawing boundaries in a close relationship. For example, if someone triggers you at a family dinner, you can respectfully let them know how you would like to be treated. Caring for yourself may be as simple as not giving in to the way everyone else wants to celebrate Christmas. Instead, you can have your own version of Christmas and celebrate it in a way that is congruent with who you are. If what you most want to do during the holidays is connect with loved ones and spend time with them, instead of searching for an expensive present, then that’s what you should do to honour yourself.

This will be different for everyone. Each one of us needs to find our own best definition of what we want Christmas to look like.

As children, some of us didn’t have the kind of Christmases we wanted, and, as a result, we feel uneasy about Christmas despite all the good things around us. I encourage you to dig deeper at this beautiful time of year, to shed old memories, so that you can join in the spirit of Christmas fully and authentically. Ask yourself:

  1. What are some of my holiday experiences?
  2. Are there experiences that were not as good as I would have liked them to be?
  3. If I could have a magic wand and turn those experiences around, what would they look like?

It doesn’t matter what Christmas used to be. What’s important is to dream and believe in what Christmas could look like if anything was possible. Be willing to ask for what you want from the Universe and believe that the Universe will give you what you want. Just trust and be open—let the journey unfold. You will grow closer to what you want before you know it.

A member of my mastermind group shared an example of how she created the kind of Christmas she wanted. While growing up, what she wanted most was to be emotionally connected with her family and friends, but her dad didn’t like family events. Now that she is grown up, she has decided to change the way Christmas was celebrated in her family while growing up. She has taken the courageous step of connecting with family members who like to celebrate Christmas the way she does. She has chosen to make them part of her Christmas celebrations so that she can have the kind of Christmas she always wanted—a Christmas filled with intimacy.

What do you need to do to create the Christmas you always wanted? We can’t change what happened yesterday, but we can give ourselves what we want today by opening up to life a little more each day. Giving and receiving are acts of generosity. Allowing ourselves to receive what life has to offer is as much an act of generosity as giving spiritually to others.

Zahra Efan is a Life and Success Coach who specializes in helping women achieve their dreams. To book a complimentary coaching session give Zahra a call at 604.582.7759 or visit our web at

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