“The best things in life are free. And it is important never to lose sight of that. So look around you. Wherever you see friendship, loyalty, laughter, and love... there is your treasure.” ~Neale Donald Walsch
I have never been one to enjoy the more crazy hustle and bustle of the holiday season, nor the sparkly commercialism that comes along with it.
I prefer the quieter, more reverent aspects of this time of year—love the twinkling lights, the peace in the evenings as the temperature drops, the smell of fireplaces burning, and making hot cocoa or sipping on eggnog with rum while watching old classic holiday movies that remind me of the things in life that are warming and comforting.
I personally prefer to avoid the malls, the crowded places, and all of the “noise” that tends to rush in during the holidays, opting rather to take an opportunity whenever I can to reflect on what the past year has brought into my life and what it has taught me, what I am grateful for, and what my heart longs for in the upcoming year.
And while material gift-giving is certainly a wonderful and beautiful thing when done with love and with the intention to uplift and to bring joy and delight, there are so very many gifts in life that money simply cannot buy that are truly worthy of being meditated upon during this special and light-filled season to fill our hearts with gratitude.
These are the gifts that keep on giving, and that bring enlightenment and genuine joy into life.
For me, one of the most cherished gifts in my life is my relationship with my family.
From my precious husband and son, to my parents, to my sweet and amazing extended family through my husband's side, each one of my family members brings something utterly special and beautiful into my life, and makes me feel loved and cherished and cared for.
They are the ones who see me at my best as well as at my worst, who are there for me during good times and low times, and who are my greatest supporters and encouragers.
Another gift I sincerely appreciate in my life is the conversation, the sharing, and the connection that I get to experience with others, you being one of those special human beings.
Being able to share myself here in the way that I do, and getting to know you through your emails to me and the comments that you leave, is something that I will never, ever take for granted for one moment.
Human connection through the sharing of ourselves with each other is one of the most glorious things we can experience, and the fact that I get to participate in this each and every day is a truly Divine thing, and brings meaning and purpose into my life.
And then there is the gift of life experiences...
The glorious thing about life experiences is that they come in all shades ranging from uplifting, to challenging, to growth-inspiring, to dread-inducing, to anxiety-creating, to faith-building... all of them are absolutely necessary and essential, and make up the totality of who we individually are. They make up our personal story.
This past year alone I have been on the roller coaster ride of stepping out in faith without knowing where I would land, then going through some valleys and difficult moments, then seeing my way through those moments and into witnessing some sweet miracles and the view from the top of the mountain.
Always an adventure, always the full spectrum of emotions, always some ups to go with the downs, and some downs to go with the ups.
And then, of course, there is the very unique gift of choice, and this is something each and every one of us has.
The gift of choice encompasses all things in life, from how we choose to feel about a situation, to how we choose to behave in any given circumstance, to how we choose to react to someone, to whether we choose to look for the positive in life or choose to see things as always bleak.
Choice is the gift that allows for fluidity in our lives, and for change to always take place. A choice can change a circumstance instantly, and set a whole new coarse for life in motion.
And the beauty of choice is, that it never runs out. While we live and breathe, there will always be choices to make, and because of this, we will have amazing opportunities to taste all there is to taste in this life, our most precious gift of all.
So may we enjoy the genuine twinkle and beauty of this holiday season, and find ourselves with hearts open and grateful for those precious, sacred gifts that bring true meaning and color to our lives.
These are the gifts that money cannot buy, but that are there and available to wholly and deeply enrich us and help us to grow along our way.
Taste what's good and pass it on.