Tag Archives: gratitude

The Perfect Gift!

During my young years of parenting, I envisioned a time when I could actually celebrate the holidays with a personal sense of meaning. A holiday specifically designed, separate from the grandeur focus of materialism and stress.

It’s so easy to allow oneself to get caught up in the suppose to haves during the holiday season. This is especially true when one has not yet defined their own meaning for the season. As a young mother, I entered into that overwhelming burden.

I can’t tell you how many times finances didn’t allow for numerous purchases – not only for the children, but for the many others that must be included in the list of giving.

It’s interesting to me how I longed for my own meaning for the season, yet – I was not ready to own its separation from the seeming norm.Needless to say, I danced the dance of holiday woes longer than I care to admit – surrendering my mind, body and my finances to stress! I could write a book about that alone!

Reality finally hit when a truck-load of unexpected challenges made its unpredictable arrival. Loss of income, the set-backs that it ignited was enormous! Saving were being spent on a daily living, which ultimately led me into making wiser choices regarding day to day spending. This, of course affected the holidays too. It’s the unwelcomed challenge that created relief!!

As I re-evaluated my life and the environment that we called home, I also examined how I  would explain to my loved ones that the holidays would be something different and creative this year. Choosing  my words carefully forced me to examine my emotions when speaking, (did I believe, or connect with what I was saying?). Instinctively, I knew that this was my window of opportunity to design my personal meaning for the holiday season, I seized it.

To my amazement and surprise, my household was ready for the change. It was the year that the entire household decided to pull names from a box. Each person would be responsible for one individual. We all agreed to one specific gift – not one that the giver wanted to give, rather – one that the receiver desired to received. This, I thought was an exceptional ideal, as it gave us all the advantage of not wasting our funds on the excess of giving gifts that usually end up in storage. We each would honor and be grateful to receive the one gift that we really wanted. The family’s willingness to flow into a new meaning for the season was met with joy and unexpected ease…this truly was the perfect gift! The gifts that we gave to one another that year created for us one of our most memorable holiday seasons to date.

My personal meaning for the holiday season is not separate from my philosophy for daily living. I am aware of what’s practical for my life. I accept fully what’s uniquely mine. I live without comparisons to others, and make the most of its meaning with gratitude. This is wealth, it is the perfect gift.

What’s your perfect gift for the season?

Live wise, live well…live whole. ~Storm

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Stormie Steele/All rights reserved 2014

Gratitude Goes A Long Ways…

With the holidays in tow, for some, the unwelcome guest of stress tags right along. Overwhelming demands of shopping, entertaining guests, seasonal decorating, loneliness and more becomes an often too familiar load. Attempts to keep up with the Jones’s and/or feelings of being left out can certainly drain the life force out of anyone.

Many opt out of the traditional holiday woes by creating new and more meaningful ones. For example; as empty-nesters, one of the most important things for Jim and I during the holiday season is being together. Relaxing by the fire with favorite scents, music, hot beverages, candles and an enjoyable meal makes for a perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas, simple pleasures. Of course, early planning is primary. Visits, practical gift giving and sharing favorite dishes with family/friends before the special day, permits for an easy transition into our own personal desires.

If you have children, however, things can be a bit different. Include the family in the planning and the decorations. Crafts with the family can offer affordable joys that will be cherished for years!

During my younger years of parenting, the holidays posed a great deal of pressure. The potential shopping list was long and unrealistic, perhaps you can relate. I learned the hard way to respect my financial boundaries. When finances don’t allow for this or that, bask in gratitude. Thanks-living!

There is no one way to celebrate holidays, as we all have our own unique approach. Yet, overdoing, coupled with an unrealistic approach towards such can be an open door for unnecessary anguish, including depression.

Give thanks and honor what’s yours, embrace the beauty in being present. It’s one of life’s simplest forms of wealth, making way for an enjoyable holiday season! Gratitude goes a long way.

Live wise, live well and live whole. ~Stormie Steele

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All rights reserved/Life Through The Storm 2017