Gifts to give ourselves for Christmas

A gift to ourselves

A gift to ourselves

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of friends who are suffering at this time of year.

You name the boogeyman.  Some of my friends struggle with health.  Others with family issues.  One friend just lost her husband, shattered her femur, and is now recovering in a nursing home.  Another friend suffers from depression.  Another from loneliness.  Another from alcoholism.  Another from emotional abuse. Many more feel politically drained, worn out, almost hopeless.

It can feel so challenging at times like these.

Strutting ourselves, for once

After visiting my friend in the nursing home today I thought of this holy-day time of year, and how it can feel so oppressive for those who struggle.  And how hard it is for some folks (especially women–although many men feel this as well) to truly give to themselves.  Many of my friends will give ceaselessly to family and friends, but really don’t take the time to give to themselves.

Yet, if we don’t give to ourselves, the well runs dry.  There’s nothing left of quality to give to the others.

So what kind of gifts can we give ourselves this Christmas?

How about the gift of kindness toward ourselves?

Forgiveness, that we can’t reach an ideal we’ve set for ourselves.

How about not really believing the inner thoughts that cut down, slice up and criticize ourselves?  How about just saying, “I’m not going to listen to that kind of inner talk, if it’s not helpful.”  (The trouble is that sometimes we listen to our inner critic because we THINK perhaps she’s telling the truth.  The inner critic is not.  Whatever tells the truth within us speaks in a kind and loving voice.)

How about stating what we need?  This could be different for each person.  For you, that might mean just leaving husband and kids to fend for themselves for 24 hours.  For you, that might mean a long solo mug of latte at the coffee shop in town.  For you, that might mean speaking your truth, even though you’re afraid it might make enemies.  

For me this week it mean telling my husband that I needed an overnight at the Landmark Inn in Marquette.  And buying a new carry-on suitcase because the wheel shredded on the current model.  AND buying a humidifier for the house because of a lowly 14% humidity.

Maybe you need a trip to Mexico...

Maybe you need a trip to Mexico…

How about a massage in January of 2018, just because you deserve it?

How about saying no to a commitment that no longer serves your spirit?

How about saying yes to a project or vacation or opportunity that scares you just a little, just because it’s outside of your comfort zone?

How about listening to the inner voice that keeps prompting you to turn in another direction, to move about sixty degrees to the east of your last direction, to set out boldly toward a new possibility?

Whatever you choose–please give yourselves a wonderful gift for Christmas.  Or two. Or three.

You deserve it, my friends and readers!

P.S.  Please share in the comments a gift you’ve decided to give yourself this year, or in a past year.  Maybe the rest of us will be inspired by your generosity.



About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in December 2017 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Gifts to give ourselves for Christmas

  1. Self matters indeed. In the end, balance is the key, yes?

  2. Carol says:

    It’s often hard to remember we deserve it, but I have decided I’ve entered the time of life to “deserve it”.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Carol, we deserve it! I wonder where or why this feeling of “not deserving” started. I’ve also always liked the way you honor “enough”. Another thing that doesn’t get much consideration these days. Happy holidays to you!

  3. Politically drained…that’s a great turn of phrase and perfectly descriptive of how I feel! What a great suggestion to gift ourselves with something meaningful and necessary to a healthy spirit! This feels important. I’m going to think about it, and get back with you on it, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      It seems like so many are politically drained these days, Cindy. I will anticipate what your creative mind comes up with after you think about this. It feels important to me, too. (And Merry Christmas to you and your family!)

  4. Sybil Nunn says:

    Christmas is a tough time for many of us. I finally seem to be able to let go of Christmas expectations and that entire build up that even during the best of times left me feeling let down at the end of the day. I will be going for a walk with the dogs on Christmas day and my daughter is coming over to make she and I a vegan dinner (she’s the vegan but I can deal)

    but wait I didn’t answer your question … hmmmm … every year I give myself a resolution that always helps me. One year it was drinking water and giving up black tea. Another it was vowing to always wash my hands. This year … I’m waffling between vowing not to troll (I’m so easily drawn in) and learning to meditate … lol

    Happy New Year Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, your Christmas sounds simple and beautiful–a perfect expression of peace & rest amidst the holiday busy preparations. Expectations! Yes, I think that expectations deaden our sense of gratitude for the peace. There’s that build-up, and then sometimes nothing much happens. But what if we could expect nothing? What if WE just give our quietness and peace to whoever ventures in our world during the holydays? Something to think about. Something for me to think about! Good luck deciding one of the many gifts you could give Sybil and Happy New Year to you, as well!

  5. I’ve found that when the inner troll is giving me grief about how stupid/out of it/worthless I am, it is time to get out among other people. If I get involved in a project that I care about, if I make someone else laugh, if I accomplish something I didn’t think I could do, it is a lot easier to put the troll back under the bridge and get on with my life.

    • Kathy says:

      Esther, it sounds like you’ve learned the warning signals and take action to move outside and get involved. I love what you wrote–thank you for sharing. That troll should stay under his bridge, lol. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  6. melinda says:

    I gave myself the gift of reading your blog tonight! and… remembering you in my Heart and feeling your love is the second!! : )

    • Kathy says:

      Melinda, I about fell over, backwards and upside down seeing your comment early this morning!! Wow, not only did you give yourself a gift–you gave me a gift as well! Thank you, my friend.

  7. lisaspiral says:

    I love this! Sometimes the best gift is just turning off the tv (or internet) and curling up with a good book.

  8. Elisa says:

    right now, the gift of being openminded and willing to listen to friend Kathy

  9. dorannrule says:

    Kathy – I am one of those folks “suffering” through Christmas in a struggle with a swollen painful foot, an undiagnosed issue that has been going on for over 2 years. My gift to myself is to accept help. It is a most difficult thing but I am learning and the process has made Christmas even sweeter. Merry Christmas to you and yours and Happy New Year too. And by the way, I love your blog!

    • Kathy says:

      Dor, so sorry to hear about your painful foot. For two years now. Sounds very challenging indeed! Sometimes just to accept help is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. I am glad that you were able to do this. Merry Christmas to you–and I am glad you are enjoying the blog!

  10. debyemm says:

    Making time to read your blog when I get a notification because I really like the way you write. Time to do anything just because I want to always feels like a gift or guilty pleasure. I know – it shouldn’t – but it does.

    • Kathy says:

      Deb, how very kind of you to like the way the writing comes out of these typing fingers. I was quite shocked to see what came out yesterday eve here. I had no idea this would be the subject until I started typing! It’s interesting that we women especially can feel guilty for indulging ourselves. Just think if you didn’t give yourself the gift of walking in the woods…I am glad that you do.

  11. Shirley Khodja says:

    Very insightful, Kathy. Thank you and I hope that you and your family have a very warm and satisfying Christmas.

  12. Allowing myself to go to creative workshops, to enjoy the creativity and the company.

    • Kathy says:

      This is a good gift, uphilldowndale. It can be so inspiring to gift ourselves in this way. The creativity and social contact can be so uplifting! I like to do this for spiritual weekends, as well, at times. The well is so often filled up again. Nice to see you and Happy Holidays!

  13. From Moments to Memories says:

    Definitely needed this today. Happy holidays, Kathy! Love your Lake Superior Spirit! Sheila

    • Kathy says:

      Sheila, glad you happened upon what you needed yesterday. Love how Santa works like that! Thank you so much for reading and Happy holidays to you, as well.

  14. rehill56 says:

    Kind writings Kathy……..I love to gift myself with an interesting talk and teatime at a dear friend’s house in the woods. Then to use an unexpected twist in plans to relish the day because major things are done early and finding time to catch up leisurely with those I love. Enjoying the moments.

    • Kathy says:

      Well, Ms. Ruth! How lovely to see you here, as well as in our Little House in the Wodos for tea and talk. Yes, those moments of leisure are so very special. May you have many more in the new year! Love you…

  15. Bonnie says:

    Such an appropriate post especially for me. Thank you Kathy. It is hard for me to give a gift to myself but I do try to go and have a coffee with my daughter at least twice a week. I do need that. It is difficult to do something for yourself when you have someone who needs you to everything but make his coffee. Perhaps I shall try a little harder in the new year to take the breaks everyone tells me I need. Have a wonderful Christmas Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Bonnie, my Christmas wish for you is to give yourself the gift of taking breaks. To breathe, to re-energize, to give a little to yourself what you give to others. You have a wonderful Christmas too!

  16. Thankyou for sharing, such a great reflection for all of us, God bless

  17. I gave myself the gift of driving seven hours south today to visit my mom at her memory care center. My guy gave me the gift too, because he insisted on driving down with me. To see her faded blue eyes shine up at me has enlarged my heart by two.

  18. Barb says:

    A contemplative post, Kathy. I was thinking today how all-important attitude is for me. If I start to tip toward negativity, all things possible WILL seem to go wrong. So, I want to allow myself more room for YES and less room for no. I want to put myself in a frame of mind that sees possibilities. I want to smile more and feel how lucky I really am. I know I want a lot, but I think I deserve it! Happy New Year Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, I do so appreciate what you’ve said here–and what you said on your beautiful blog post. That frame of mind is so very vital to our peace of mind… I do think you deserve it! Happy New Year back to you.

  19. sonali says:

    Then the well runs dry, there’s nothing left of quality to give to the others! So true and so deepening. Thank you, first of all for being there through your words, let this not dry. I’m so joyful to read your posts today. I feel great!!!

    • Kathy says:

      Sonali, you are such a dear gifter; I am glad you know how important it is to give back to that eternal well within. Happy New Year! I am delighted to see you here!

  20. Karen says:

    While the winds howl outside and the power was out during a recent snowstorm, I reread a favorite book huddled by the fireplace…. “The Diary of an Isle Royale School Teacher” by Dorothy Simonson. It is her memoir of a winter spent teaching the children of fishermen living on Isle Royale during the Great Depression in 1932.

    She writes of the wild beauty and isolation of Lake Superior; the children and families that share their friendship; the wolves and moose that sleep beside her schoolhouse for warmth in the dead of winter; ordering shipments of books for her students from the Library of Michigan in Lansing; harvesting wild cranberries in the boggy harbors and gathering greenstones on the beaches; earning a ham radio operator’s license to communicate with the mainland on the Keweenaw in Houghton and Calumet; and the emotional highs and lows of the long winter …all for $65 per month ($35 of which she pays to one of the families for her room and board). This woman SEWED like crazy to pass long winter evenings!

    I think of how easily we are disrupted now when the internet goes down or electricity goes out for a few hours. I live in the ‘north country’ of Michigan, but this memoir gives me perspective on our lifestyle 80 years later.

    So, perspective is the gift I have decided to give myself this year. To be patient and gentle with myself and continue to seek physical health through yoga and swimming at a local hotel pool; to continue to spend real quality time in prayer and strive to maintain a still, listening spirit; and to try to be light to family and the people the Lord places in my path every day. No falseness or pretense of fabulous everything in control…just plain myself at 62.

    Only truth.

    • Kathy says:

      Karen, I have read that book and so enjoyed it, as well! It does offer a unique perspective on our lifestyle so many years later. I enjoyed reading of your gifts to yourself. That falseness and pretense seems to serve, but it doesn’t really. I catch myself in less than integrity and want to make every action arise from integrity. But still it doesn’t always. And I am 60! Almost your age. 🙂

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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