Today is Christmas, a day that’s normally characterized by kids eagerly awaiting gift-wrapped presents.
But gifts won’t create sustained happiness. After a few days or weeks, their luster fades.
Spending time together, slowing down, expressing joy … that’s what the holidays are truly about.
Better to Give? That’s Half the Story.
You’ve probably heard the cliche, “It’s better to give than to receive.” That’s true to a point, but it’s not the complete picture.
If we accepted that cliche at face value, we’d bust out our credit cards, buy a bunch of consumer junk, and get stuck with an enormous MasterCard bill.
That’s not “better.”
(As Homer Simpson said, “It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without opening a big bill in January!”)
Here’s the full story:
Yes, it’s better to give. But it’s BEST to feel gratitude.
The holidays are a time when you should reflect on everything that’s awesome about your life.
Even if you’re going through a tough time, you still have a billion reasons to feel grateful:
- You’re alive.
- You’re healthy.
- You live in the 21st century.
- You have access to clean water, clean air, and sanitation.
- You have access to refrigeration and indoor heating.
- You don’t have smallpox.
- You live during an era with more human freedoms and advanced technology than any previous point in history … and it’s only getting better.
You get the idea.
What happens when you reflect on all your reasons to be grateful?
You stop wanting “more.” You already have waaayyyyy more than enough.
Instead, you start wanting to give.
- Can I help someone who’s struggling?
- Can I bring clean air/water/sanitation to someone who doesn’t have it?
- Can I create more freedom for my family or friends?
When giving comes from a place of gratitude, it’s more likely to involve meaningful gifts. And it’s less likely to involve a massive credit card bill.
Happy Holidays from Afford Anything.
Thanks to Flickr / Paparutzi for today’s photo.