Dr. Robin Buckley No Comments

How’s your to-do list coming for December? You know the one – all your loved ones listed and the gifts you plan to buy each one. After them, you have all the service providers you plan to buy holiday thank-you’s for – teachers, stylists, postal workers, dog sitter. Add work colleagues after that. And any holiday party White Elephant gifts. And maybe gifts for charities you support during the holidays like Giving Trees or food pantries. And once you get through most of your list, and are starting to breathe a bit easier, you know someone {insert significant other, spouse, child, mother-in-law, sibling} will ask you if you’d mind picking up something for someone they need a gift for. It’s not even my list but I’m exhausted just thinking about your list!

But it seems like you forgot someone on your gift giving list. Can you think of who? (I’ll wait for you to scour your brain and your list in a desperate attempt to double check…)


Where are you on your gift giving list?

Are you chuckling at this idea? Thinking that it’s silly or frivolous? That if you’re going to get a present, it should be from someone else? That you don’t have time to think about getting yourself something when your gift giving list could challenge Santa’s list? Or maybe you’re thinking you don’t deserve a present for whatever reason. If you’re putting time and energy to thinking about how to acknowledge those people in your life whom you love or appreciate for the things they do for you, why wouldn’t those two factors apply to you? Why wouldn’t you recognize the special person you are and show yourself appreciation for all you do?

Now I am not telling you to head out to your nearest jewelry store to buy a Rolex. Or to go buy the fun Jeep at the dealership you’ve been driving past each day on the way to work. Or to book a solo cruise to the Mediterranean. (Although if any of those are comfortably within your cash budget, you certainly don’t need my permission…) Giving yourself a gift this month can be simple as long as it is meaningful to you.

So what gift will you give to yourself? Maybe it’s to start that class at the gym that you’ve been wanting to try, but keep letting everyone else’s schedule get in your way. Maybe it’s to meet a friend for coffee once a month, starting this month. Maybe it’s setting aside 30 minutes a day to explore options for new changes – a job you’d really enjoy, a volunteer organization to get involved with, a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, a new hair style. Maybe it’s putting into your calendar 30 minutes a day to just breathe, meditate or read a book. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you choose the gift to yourself in the same way you choose gifts for the other special people in your life.

As the gift giver, my guess is you put thought into each gift, thinking about what each person would most love to receive and what best suits that person. You then give the gift unconditionally, with the basic idea of bringing happiness to that person. You can do the same for yourself.

And as the gift receiver, you accept the gift from yourself as you hope others accept the gifts you select for them – without guilt or feelings of obligation. You hope your recipients feel special and appreciated by the gifts you give them. It is not only okay, but wonderful, for you to create those same feelings in yourself from yourself.

So I dare you to add yourself to your gift giving list. (Yes, actually write your name on the list, in pen.) Then have as much fun thinking about what to give yourself as you have in thinking about what gifts would make other people in your life smile. Remember your gift to you can be anything you want that works within your life as long as it is in recognition of the amazing person you are. (Read those words again…and maybe again, slower.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Boxing Day, and any joyful holiday or celebration you have in December!

Just a little something for your insight. – Dr. Robin