* Self Improvement and Personal Growth Weekly Newsletter * Issue # 378
Week of December 6-7, 2005
Publisher: David Riklan - http://www.SelfGrowth.com
***Article: The Most Important Gifts of All – By Pauline
In This Season of Gift-Buying, Don't Ignore The Most Important Gifts ofAll.
In this season of holiday gift buying, advertisers bombard us withmessages, some
of them contradictory.
One ad tells us that the best way for men to show love is to spend three
months' salary on a piece of diamond jewelry.
On the other hand, MasterCard commercials remind us that there are some
things ("Priceless" moments) that monëy can't buy."Oh, that's a sweet
sentiment," you might say, "but can it reallysubstitute for the latest video
game or hot toy?"
Very few children raised in this materialistic culture would say, "Gee mom,
thanks for making my favorite meal.
What a great Christmas gift!"
Yet 20 years from nöw, these same children probably won't remember the
items they got for the current Christmas. They will, however, recall the special
games that their family played together, the time that their older brother took
them to a movie, or the way their parents tucked them in at night.
These are the little moments, which over time, have a huge impact.
Unfortunately people tend to take them for granted.
With so much emphasison holiday shopping, and on buying the perfect
gift, we can losë sight ofthe importance of the less flashy, but "priceless"
gifts: gifts such as thoughtfulness and gratitude that we can give to one
another all year round.
A diamond may be forever, but its value is nothing compared to a lïfetime
of moments that monëy can't buy.
I'm not suggesting that you forego the presents this holiday season, but
don't worry so much about how "perfect" they are.
Go ahead and buy somegifts, but more importantly, resolve to focus your
energy on helping others feel valued and appreciated. They will remember your
acts of thoughtfulness and compassion long after the material gifts are
Hëre are some examples of small gestures that can help people around
1. Show your appreciation with a thank-you, a smile or a hug (or allthree).
It takes just a moment, but it can make a person's day.
2. Practice a random act of kindness every day. Make this your "gift" to
astranger. For example, let someone in front of you in line. Hold a door open
for someone. Smile and greet people you pass at work. These acts take only a few
seconds or less, yet they create a mood that can last for hours.
3. Call up someone you haven't spoken to in a while, just to catch up on
how they are. You've probably been meaning to do this for a long time. Nöw is a
4. If you have children, give one child at a time your full attention foran
afternoon: Go for a walk; go to the library; or just sit and read or draw
together. The activity itself isn't as important as sharing time and interacting
together. Going to a movie or watching a video doesn't count.
5. Write a note of appreciation to someone who is important to you. Don't
be surprised if that person keeps the note for years to come.
6. Think of the way you'd like to be remembered by those around you, and
give of yourself accordingly throughout the year. The added benefit for you is
that you'll be in a more positive frame of mind overall.
About the Author:Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in Camp Hill, PA,
and author of"Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating
Behavior"(Beyond Words Publishing, 2001).
for more information, and subscribe to her frëe, monthly Inner Brat
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