As we enter the holiday season, we often focus on gifts and celebrations, things and events we hope will make us happy. This is also a time when family and loved ones get together, many disconnected or distant throughout the year.
Holiday time can be complicated, busy and exhausting. Enormous energy is often expended in attempts to keep certain traditions alive. There is usually a scramble to assemble a list of gifts for family and friends and a stressful search for these items, braving the cold and crowded shopping areas. In some ways, this borders on madness, at least in my mind’s eye.
Here is an alternative perspective on the opportunities for giving during this holiday season. This idea involves a purposeful commitment to break some traditions, slow down a bit and make things less complicated.
I developed some simple life principles useful to me and my close friends and family. These are ingrained in my daily life and others often find these refreshing. These principles are: Tell the truth; Do the right thing; Be kind.
I would never attempt to convince anyone to adopt these as their principles. That is a very personal choice. However, these could be useful for this holiday season with close friends and family.
Instead of expending energy trying to find some small gifts for these people, you could simply think about the person and what information might be useful to them. Once you have done this, find some quiet time with them, tell them you care about them and then apply these three principles. Give them some useful positive or constructive feedback.
As I learned in years as a corporate executive, feedback is a gift. In later years, I learned to see feedback in a positive light, as someone’s desire to show they cared enough to take the time to carefully think through what I needed to know and do it in a non-confrontational way. Feedback can be considered an act of kindness.
So, perhaps you can give this some thought, have the conversations with those you care about and leave them with a nice card or note reinforcing that you care. In this way, everyone might be better served than a panicked search for some little gifts and help to create a state of mind more consistent with what the holiday season is all about.