Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Be the Gift

I once heard a woman say in the flurry of "doing" Christmas that she'd decided one afternoon to "be the gift." Often a phrase like this means giving a gift of time: changing someone's lightbulbs or hanging out with them or some such.

But this woman was thinking of it differently. And she was on her way to the mall at the time. So she proceeded to be especially nice to every clerk or cashier she met, every shopper she bumped against. The whole experience was lighter, easier; and she had a wonderful time. Don't you love that? I thought it quite bold.

Another way of thinking about this approach, which I ran across in a sermon: "A Quaker friend of mine used to say to me, 'I will hold you in the light.'”

Of course the whole busy business also applies to Hannukah celebrations and others at this time of year. I've also seen the experience referred to as "doing December." Whatever the occasion, "being the gift" can work.

I watch people like my office partner who celebrates both Christmas and Hannukah (interfaith marriage) and once did a symbolic candle-lighting ceremony on the fold-down tray table on a flight to France (where they were to spend a year) with her family including brand-new baby. Now that's multi-tasking. Or multi-enjoying. She's one who is good at being the gift.

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kenju said...

I have a friend who is the epitome of being the gift. She organized (over the weekend) a tree-trimming, bed-changing, refrigerator cleanout for a mutual friend whose husband is in in the hospital with pneumonia.

Peggy Payne said...

Wow, nice!

I had pneumonia last summer and my fridge is alarming...?!

Seriously, an excellent idea. Your friend is generous.

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