‘Tis the Season to be jolly, so it stinks to be slowly circling the parking lot waiting for an empty spot, then shouldering your way through crowds only to find that the perfect gift is long gone. Finally, in frustration you choose a gift knowing it is destined to be re-gifted or to gather dust on a shelf.
So, why not return to the spirit of the season, which is after all spiritual?
Give the gift of an experience, a meditation retreat, or a series of yoga classes, a vision quest or inclusion in a prayer circle, a half-day at a spa or even a museum membership. Let your friend’s spiritual pursuits, rather than your own, lead you to the gift. Ordinary gifts may or may not be cherished, but the perfectly chosen gift of an experience can give your friend something to savor while enjoying it and later will be a cherished memory for a lifetime.
For those who are environmentally-minded, another added benefit is that experience gifts don’t include wrapping paper or tissue paper, neither of which are recyclable, nor bleached white gift boxes which are made from trees, nor synthetic ribbons destined for landfill.
Gifts of experience open the possibility of a richer life. For example, a newly fledged art school grad often can’t afford a museum membership or a new mom is too drained to make an appointment at a spa (include an offer to baby-sit so she can take advantage of your largesse). For a friend who loves animals, a zoo membership will allow them to wile away sunny afternoons contemplating the grace of the cheetah which the hefty entrance fee would have prevented. For the musically inclined, a ticket to see a favorite performer on tour, or to see the local symphony will warm the friendship. The gift is limited only by budget, your imagination and your knowledge of that friend.
Other spiritual gifts are gifts of charity – many people in the Western world feel that they already have everything they need or want, yet to make a huge difference in the life of someone in need is priceless. Established social programs like Heifer.org, Habitat for Humanity or Grameen Bank significantly change the lives of families through giving them training and livestock, a home or a micro-loan.
Heifer.org is an international organization that supplies animal husbandry training and then livestock to rural people. In accepting the gift they agree to provide an animal to someone else in their community so that gradually the entire village benefits. Habitat for Humanity helps people all over the world build and get an affordable loan for a new, safe home. Micro-loans are given to small businesspeople in the developing world when receiving a bank loan is impossible. For example, a seamstress in Bangladesh sewing by hand could get a loan from Grameen Bank for a sewing machine. These are gifts that literally and figuratively change the world.
Give the gift of spirituality! Talk to a psychic to truly connect with your inner soul. Call 1.800.573.4830
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