I believe that, if we could, we would all give the gifts of good health, financial prosperity, world peace, the end of poverty and homelessness, etc. to all of those around us. Sadly, those things are either out of reach or completely out of our control.

There are things we CAN give this Christmas and the whole year through. Let’s bless each other with gifts more precious than gold, silver or other trinkets.

Give the gift of time:  This doesn’t mean we need to say yes to every request; it means when we do, we will be fully engaged with the task or with the other person.

Give the gift of positive energy:  Negative, toxic behaviors can be pushed away if we spread the positive energy we have within us.

Give the gift of light: Be the light in someone’s darkness. Illuminate the way until their flame is reignited.

Give the gift of wisdom: We have learned to own our stories, now let’s impart lessons learned so that others can also grow. We can’t prevent every mistake or bad decision, but perhaps our stories will help someone else think twice.

Give the gift of compassion and understanding: We don’t walk in anyone else’s shoes and do not know the hardships and struggles. Talk with them, better yet–listen with the idea to understand.

Give the gift of laughter: One of the greatest healing powers. Laugh hard and often with someone.

Give the gift of silence: We think we always need to talk when we are together. Sometimes, a person just needs to know you’re there. Sit together, hold hands, hug…simply be present and listen to what is spoken and unspoken.

Give the gift of inspiration: Give praise and constructive criticism lovingingly. Inspire with kindness, support, your own faults & failings…be their biggest cheerleader!

Give the gift by no longer enabling:  Calling people out on their bullshit is a gift; do so kindly but firmly. Do not accept continued excuses and do not constantly save them. Saving ourselves is how we all learn.

Give the gift of prayer:  Even my non-believing friends accept a prayer. It’s a way we show our love and concern for them. Pray often.

Give the gift of hope:  Not false hope, but a realistic outlook on how things might improve.

We can give our love:  Often the most difficult to give as sometimes people and situations aren’t lovable. Some won’t love us in return the way we want. But that’s not up to us to decide. Our job is simply to love!

2017 is the year I work diligently at giving these gifts away. What will be your greatest gifts to give this year?