The memories of childhood – receiving or giving gifts – when we learn early the blessing of giving is an easy, annual lesson via this time’s celebrations. Some of the warmer memories come from watching children experience the magic of the season of giving. Stories of generosity tied to our celebrations in the world are hundreds of generations old.
St. Nicholas was said to be wealthy among those in his 4th Century village, and stories of his beneficence lay at the core of the gift-giving we welcome still into our Winter-darkened, but joyous and brightly lit celebrations.
This year, how can we feel our best? Memories of special music, displays of light, ways to stay warm, the simplicity of cheer – while we are used to sharing these seasonal traditions – this last month of 2020 will ask more of each of us. It means we have to willingly love and rely on the self, with admonitions to remain safe and distant from those we seniors might most want to be around.
“Simple gestures of respect – care of the body, rest for the mind, and beauty for the soul in the form of music and art or nature — are all ways of showing ourselves love,” author and meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg reminds us.
Generosity, when it is grown from caring – a way to show love – feels divinely guided when it creates a connection you feel. Think about how you feel even preparing to give, isn’t it transformative? Preparing for the holidays has so much more joyous weight when you have prepared yourself from the inside out. So start with the self-care, the willingness to think of your favorite memories, then prepare for the sharing.
I guarantee you joy, even if you are unable to be in the same room with the recipient when your gifts are given. Giving will pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
If you know someone who needs emergency assistance, please have them call 211. For more information on volunteering with Community Partners in Caring, please visit us at www.partnersincaring.org
In February 2021, Hospice of Santa Barbara hosts author Sharon Salzberg in the hospice agency’s continuing Illuminate series, an event that can be joined remotely via Zoom link. Registration for this and the other monthly speakers can be made at the Hospice of Santa Barbara website.