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The Perfect Christmas Gift

by Michael Ketterhagen

Earlier this week Mary and I were watching a television movie about a young woman who called herself a “gift whisperer.” She advertised herself as someone who would find the “perfect gift” for your loved one. Eventually, she realized that the perfect gift for anyone was “the gift of Love.”

Christmas time is the “perfect” time to give the gift of love. But what is that? How do we give love to those we love and those to whom we should show love?

First, to whom should we show love? Yoga says that we must start showing love towards ourselves. We can’t really love another freely and without expectation of anything in return until we have given ourselves all the love and attention that we need. In today’s hectic and often fear-laden world, the best way to love ourselves is to sit in stillness, allowing our body and mind to rest in the beauty of our spirit. Sitting with ourselves with no agenda except to be with ourselves would be a perfect gift during this busy holiday time.

Secondly, what is the perfect gift? Complete unconditional attention and service, says yoga and all spiritual traditions and religious traditions. Accepting our feelings, thoughts, concerns, hopes, dreams, without criticism is a perfect gift for ourselves, especially if we do it during the most stressful time of the day.

The challenging part of giving gifts, especially “perfect gifts” is that they take time. If we are thinking of giving ourselves or another some physical gift, it takes time to contemplate and answer three questions: What does the person or our Self need? What would the person or our Self truly enjoy? What would indicate for the person or our Self that we are truly loved and cared for?

That takes time to figure out and it would take some quiet reflection. That is, during this time of the year, when the days get longer and brighter, what each of us truly needs in order to unconditionally and non-critically show our love towards ourselves and others.

Happy reflecting!

May you have a blessed Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, or Kwanzaa!

I pray to the Divinity, the Light, in you!

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