Our first grandchild is too young to write out her Christmas wish list to Santa, but I can remember the days clearly when our children would write out their wish lists.
One Christmas morning, many years ago, stands out in my mind. Our oldest daughter opened her gifts and began screaming with delight. We had given her a New Kids on the Block doll of each member of the group, a New Kids on the Block T-shirt and a poster. She had received everything on her wish list. Her joy was contagious. The memory of it still brings a smile to my face after all these years.
Our adult kids have continued the practice of making their Christmas gift list and have asked everyone in the family to make a list so we can be sure to give and get what we need or want. We get a flurry of texts as they let us know what they’ve purchased so we can be sure to cross that particular wish off their list.
December is traditionally the month for giving and receiving gifts. What are your favorite kinds of gifts to give? They may not be the kind that can be wrapped in a box.
I gave a unique gift to a stranger yesterday. I was reading a book, enjoying a quiet break and waiting for my lunch at the Tea Room Café when a woman approached me and asked if she could join me at my table for lunch. My first thought was, “I want to read my book, eat my lunch and have some quiet time before I go back to work.” Taking into account what I wanted and needed, I quipped, “If you don’t mind me ignoring you and continuing to read my book, I’d be happy for you to join me.” She let me know that she had a book to read as well, and sat across from me to wait for her lunch.
It was uncomfortable for me in those first few moments because we were sitting in such close proximity and I had just set my boundaries by telling her that I was going to ignore her. I put my book down, made eye contact and said, “I lied about ignoring you, my name is Michelle.” She introduced herself as Denise, and then we comfortably shared the table in silence as we ate our lunch and read our books.
By stating my truth, I gave myself the gift of stating what I needed and wanted, which was not in opposition to what she needed and wanted.
Being able to ask for what you need or want is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself. It is not selfish to ask for what you want. It is a fundamental skill in loving yourself.
The prompt for December is to be aware of those unique gifts that you give yourself and others that cannot be wrapped in a box.
I invite you to share your experiences this month with all of us in the Love Warrior Community. You can share your stories by filling out our guest post submission form at the Love Warrior Community.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. Michelle’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, will be published January, 2013. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies.
Michelle created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011,
Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the Self-Love Movement!