In the hustle and bustle of the holidays we are wrapped up in what they call, the “gift of giving”. Black Friday shopping, doorbuster sales, and the need to find the perfect gift leaves many of us feeling pressured and stressed. My clients and myself feel the frustration of gift giving that Cynthia Pollet describes in her article “Bah Humbug, Another Holiday Season is Here”. The superficial nature of it all, feeling like pawns of commercialism, stores that start decorating for the holidays in July! It is easy to become sour to the sweet gingerbread scents that surround us all.
The Gift of Nothing
A few years ago, I was introduced to a little book filled with pictures and a few words called “The Gift of Nothing” by Patrick McDonnell. It is story about Mooch the cat and a dog named Earl who are best of friends. Mooch desperately seeks the perfect gift to give to his very special friend Earl but realizes that Earl has everything he could want. He has a wonderful bed, a bowl to drink water, and lots of squeaking chew toys. Mooch notices the somethings are all around, in the stores, on tv, the somethings on phones, and it prompts a brilliant idea.
Mooch realizes that the one special thing Earl does not have is NOTHING! Mooch sets out to find the perfect kind of nothing. He gets a big box filled with a whole lot of nothing. He wraps it up and puts a bow on top for his special friend. When Earl gets the gift, he is excited to unwrap it and finds it is filled with nothing! “There’s nothing here,” said Earl. “Yeah!” said Mooch. “Nothing but you and me”.
The Perfect Gift for Your Special Someone
In a world that surrounds us with so many somethings, it is a gift to give ourselves and people we love the gift of nothing. Nothing but time together, focusing on nothing other than those we love and cherishing in the moments of simple joy in time spent together. No TV, no phones, no shopping malls, no “have-to” chores, nothing but the peace of being in the moment together. Some ideas include:
- Playing a new or traditional game as a family.
- Find time to bask in the sounds and beauty of nature. Go for a walk in the woods or just enjoy the beauty of falling snow.
- Get to know each other again. Place questions in a mason jar and have each person take turns asking their question, then go around and ask everyone to answer. This is a great way to find out things you may not know about the people closest to you.
- Create a dream board for the coming year. Goals need a plan and creating a dream board is a step toward realizing dreams together.
- Get a 1000-piece puzzle and create a picture. This is a wonderful way to not only create art but also conversation.
These are just a few ways you can begin to give your gift of nothing but quality and meaningful time together.
During this holiday season filled with so many pressures and lots of somethings, challenge yourself to give the gift of nothing. It may be the most precious gift of all this year for you and your family.