When I was little, I stuck my tongue out at all who deserved the gesture, and I had a habit of saying “bullshit” (thanks to my uncle, who introduced the word into my vocabulary at age 3). I have yet to kick either habit.
As a child though, when it was finally Christmas time, I had to wonder whether I made the naughty or nice list. I had a storytelling flair of justifying every reason I’d make the nice list, because year after year, I never found coal. But I wondered what motivated Santa’s gift giving? I mean, I wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t curing diseases and helping all mankind, I wasn’t the most well behaved student in my kindergarten class, and with “bullshit” coming forth from my lips I had quite the little potty mouth. So why was I receiving Santa’s presents? What was his intention behind those gifts? These were the thoughts that kept me restless before play dates.
Now as an adult, the idea of intention still preoccupies me. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, indeed, as New Yorkers, tourists, and all other aggressive holiday shoppers, push and shove their way through stores. People who are lucky enough to afford presents are checking off Wish Lists the same way they’d approach a To Do list.
If we all stepped back and took a moment to think about gifts as a extension of our own heart, to someone else’s, would it matter whether we were receiving the hottest new phone or a heartfelt card? Wouldn’t you rather receive a simple gift with a wholehearted intention behind it, vs. a mere item off a checklist?
When it comes down to giving and receiving presents, it doesn’t matter whether or not you made the naughty or nice list. There’s someone you love, and someone who loves you, whether it be friends, partners, lovers, parents, siblings, neighbors, etc. A simple act of kindness, a heartfelt gesture, or a simple gift with the hopes of a receiving a smile in return, will all satisfy the wants of this holiday season if the expectations and holiday craze drop to reveal the true idea of gift giving.