The Yuletide season is almost here, Christmas is so close, the Winter Solstice is even closer. And hopefully you are enjoying a relaxing wind down or start to your Yule holidays. In our house, bulging out under the christmas tree are many, many christmas presents. Yule has and still is a time of celebrating the living people in our life that we love. In fact even today Yule is one of the only times families gather together and one of the only times we consciously make it important to show the people we care about that they are special to us. And as we learn from childhood we do this by giving and receiving gifts. However we actually give and receive gifts every day of our lives, often unnoticed. Yuletide is perfect for taking time out to learn more about these gifts, to learn more about ourselves and to be even more grateful for those people that make our lives special and our own ability to light up the world.
The gifts we receive in our lives
The tradition of giving gifts is one that has grown and stayed with us for centuries. The people we give gifts to over Yule tend to be our nearest and dearest and often people who we share the same dna with. Giving gifts is in a way a chance to acknowledge the gifts these people bring to our lives. And I don’t mean the physical gifts we get, I am talking about the gifts of life lessons, support and characteristics that shape and guide our lives. The unseen gifts that are there everyday.
By looking at these gifts consciously we can begin to identify not only why people are important to us but also we can earn why we need to learn the teachings their gifts bring to us. At the same time we get the oppertunity to value more the gift givers of our lives. I mean how often do we take time to appreciate the gifts people bring?
Is it hard? Not at all. You just need to really look. For example although I had a challenging relationship with my Mother (who hasn’t) when I looked for the gifts she has given me I discovered that she has an overwhelming sense of empathy and kindness. She has an amazing ability to love and a huge heart. She would give a beggar her last 20p and still buys christmas presents for all the children in the family even though she doesn’t see them. Meditating on this I can see how first this gift has influenced me in nearly every human interaction I have had in my life, and these gifts make me so much better at my chosen path as both teacher and healer. I am incredibly grateful for these gifts
Finding the gifts of others
Look at the people on your Yule gift list and brain storm the following:
- Who are these people ?
- What is their relationship to you?
- What gifts have they brought to your life? ( This can be stability, lessons, love)
- For each gift think about your life and why is this teaching necessary to you life today.
Choose one of these people and write them a letter thanking them for the gift they bring to your life and telling them how much they mean to you.
If possible spend time with them over the holidays. Get to know them on a deeper level and you may find that you have only just scratched the surface in your understanding of the gifts they bring to your life.
The gifts you bring
Gifts do not only travel one way. As we receive from people in our lives we also give gifts from our own heart. It can often be a challenge to recognise our strengths we bring to others lives. However your gifts are as unique as you are and they light up the world in their own way. By acknowledging and naming them you will get a wonderful sense of how amazing you truly are.
Finding your gifts
What gifts do you give to others? (If it’s hard to think of you can ask your family and friends to help you here.)
On a piece of paper draw three candles and on each candle write the gifts that you give to people and the world. If you like you can light three candles to represent these gifts. Toast yourself with a large glass of wine and spend an evening being good to yourself.
Identifying the gifts we receive in our lives and the gifts we give brings an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the greatest gift, the gift of life. At Winter Solstice after the longest night the summer is born as the days start to get a little bit longer. What could be a more perfect time to be thankful for our lives and the people we love.