As the gift giving season is upon us we are exploring the thoughts and emotions behind this this month. Grab a mulled wine, a mince pie and hide away for a small break while you read on today. 
I have three children and one grandchild. I have a ton of sisters and nephews and nieces and friends who each year I buy gifts for, and as usual I have taken time to sit and write a list of all the gifts I plan to buy and deliver and post. I often think to myself that this is a job in itself. Imagine if you got paid for the hours it takes to do this monumental task and all alongside the actual business that I run and the parenting duties that I have. I use all my self care skills of course, take my time, rest, eat well, stay hydrated, on and on but it is still a strain and what emotional energy am I really putting into these gifts that I am sending out? 
Lets start with my children. The youngest is 9 years old so there is still a large element of Santa Magic put into her Christmas experience. I wrap the “santa” gifts in special paper to illude to the fact that it has been dropped here in our home by the big guy himself. I choose gifts that she will like and that will keep her occupied, and the intention attached to these gifts is definitely with her at the forefront. I know, because I have two older children , that the need to have the latest gadget doesn’t last.  
The pressure to provide the latest and often very expensive gift is there but I don’t succumb because it passes and its never what counts on the day in my experience. I have also learned that the perfect Christmas day that is portrayed in the films does not exist and trying to live up to that will only lead to disappointment all around. These gifts to my children …as children…are and have been given with love attached and care. I feel quite sure about that but I feel there must have been at times some worry about cost and pressure to give more, attached also. 
Is gift giving a chance for children to learn about gratitude I wonder. Perhaps they really did want the latest thing and it did not arrive under the tree, but what they did receive was given with love and thought. I wonder if they felt that or understood that it would ease the disappointment they may feel and bring about that feeling of gratitude for what they do have. 
Lets think about how we feel when we receive a gift. Do we as adults feel gratitude for gifts we don’t like ? Are we able to see past the gift and to the thought and emotion behind it? 
I remember when I was a small child my Grandad arrived at our house around Christmas time with gifts. I saw them in his bag wrapped in Christmas paper and really hoped they were for us. My child brain was going wild thinking about what they might be. After what seemed a long time, he drew up the bag and started to hand out our gifts. I remember not even sitting back down I was that keen to get inside and I was standing at his knee ripping the paper and bringing out the gift which was to my huge disappointment a hat. A white, knitted hat, with a wooden button sewn on the side. Now I am not sure if this is an actual memory or not as the story was retold so many times , along with hoots of laughter by my parents, but this gift was met with this response from me… “oh great, just what I didn’t want” 
This was the truth. I had not wanted a hat, I was expecting something much better and at the time I did not think about any of the love that may have been attached to this gift from my Grandfather. Perhaps he spent his afternoon perusing the shops seeking out things that he thought we would like, perhaps he looked at this hat and thought of my cold head in the winter and thought how lovely and warm Id be in this hat when I was on my way to school. Perhaps he didn’t and I will never really know but I still did feel a bit embarrassed that I said that to him and sorry. Was this a lesson in gratitude after all ? 
Have you ever had a gift given to you when you didn’t want to because you knew the intention was not filled with love or anything positive at all ? 
I have a few stories I could share about presents like this. I was once in a relationship with a man who was very abusive to me in more ways than one. He used gifts as apologies, but these kinds of gifts are filled with nothing. A pair of fancy shoes or a new dress mean nothing when they are an apology for a punch in the face. No present and no punch in the face would have been much more gratefully received. My lessons in gratitude continued ! 
I suppose then, if we have an understanding of how it feels to get a gift and what we can see or sense is attached to it, this could help us to be more mindful, of what we are attaching to the gifts we give out. 
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas, a ton of calm and oodles of relaxation this year and remember if you need anything you know where I am. 
See you in 2022 for lots more from your Hummingbird Hypnotherapy Membership ! 
Questions, or comments? I'm here to help. You can leave a comment or query below, or contact us if you want a confidential conversation. 
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