So here we are at the time of year when the giving of gifts is, for many of us, an expected and sometimes challenging ritual. There are those people for whom it is easy to select gifts, people whom we can trust to appreciate what we give them and to do so with real delight.

Alternatively, there are the ‘problem’ people; not the ones who say ‘I don’t need anything,’ and mean it, but those for whom no gift is right and yet they seem to be wanting something. How do you handle that?

And how do we handle it when the gift we have carefully, chosen, made, found, bought, is rejected in some way by laughter, disbelief or lukewarm thanks?

When it comes to giving gifts, the first step is to CHOOSE to give it, not because you have to but because you want to. Then, address the reason you give the gift in the first place. Ask yourself, do you have something that you expect in return by giving the gift? Is it to win favor, to be appreciated? Or is it to simply give pleasure to another?

In the Personal Magic book I write:

Giving a welcome gift with an open heart and with no expectation of ‘reward’ brings its own reward – of goodness, of peace and of honorable power.

 Perhaps counter-intuitively, you are most empowered when you give, and the gifts that have the greatest capacity to stimulate empowerment are those that are created with courage and truth, offered as gifts with no expectation of reciprocity. A gift is only a gift if offered as such. When we place a condition or price on it, it becomes a ‘deal’ or a sale.

I also consider this question:

What if the gift is not appreciated or is ignored? If you have created it (*) from your personal place, creating your own magic, then it still has value.  The value is in the act of creation.

 (* this also applies to carefully selected presents that you have bought.)

 So, in this season of gift giving here are some basic steps to enjoy the giving of gifts.

1. Agree with yourself that gift giving is just that – something given freely without expectation of return, of any kind.

2. Accept that once you have given it away then you have no say in what happens to it or how it is received – indeed you have let it go.

3. Understand that generally a negative response from the person receiving the gift is not directed at you, but can arise from their own dis-empowerment.

(Have you noticed that truly empowered people are always delighted with their gifts and the most fearful or needy rarely are?)

4. Know that the real value of a gift is not in its $, but resides in the freedom with which it moves from one person to another.

5. Finally, as you may be receiving gifts, ask yourself, ‘How do I receive gifts? With an eye to what it means, how it stacks up to what I gave (or didn’t)? Or with an open heart and mind?’

Also acknowledge that when you empowered you will recognize when a gift is coming with a price or tag, and you will be able to avoid playing that game. It maybe that your best choice is to do so silently and perhaps at another time address that issue, but at least you will be able to quickly shed the ‘ickiness’ feeling of being ‘bought’. You will see that it is the dis-empowered person who tries to make those deals and you don’t have to join in!

This season, choose to be an Empowered person, steady in your own center, your worthiness independent of the power of others. Be one for whom the gifts that are freely given are a joy received. (Those with attachments are removed, with compassion, to their own place!) Be one who gives gifts freely and with joy.

In writing the book Personal Magic I asked, ‘What is a gift?

I turned to those desk dictionaries for a brief look and found this: ‘natural endowment, talent, faculty miraculously bestowed’ (Oxford English Dictionary). And this: ‘the act or power of giving’ (Random House). ‘Miraculously bestowed….power of giving’. Well! 

Your Personal Magic, the uniqueness that is YOU, is your empowerment; the miracle of your being here is the gift with which you have arrived.

I also write this, and it is Very Important:

The act of creation is first and foremost a gift to and of yourself, and then you give away the ‘object’ or thought or love. Note: this is different from giving yourself away. You are the goose that lays the golden egg – keep yourself and give away the eggs!

So, enjoy this season that is associated with giving gifts, practice being a truly empowered giver and receiver. Carry that into 2012. Everyday is a day with gifts to give and receive, and everyday we have the opportunity to live our Personal Magic. That said, also remember to Have Fun!

I am interested in your stories of gifts given and received in which you were able to overcome the present splurge pitfalls! Write a comment below!