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.
Just sayin’. 🙂
Happy Holidays from Afford Anything.
Thanks to Flickr / Paparutzi for today’s photo.