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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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Happy Gift Giving

December 2005


Okay, let’s talk about giving. ‘Tis the season, after all. But what should you give? Ah, that’s where you need to stop, right there. “What should you give?” Any sentence that includes the word “should” is suspect.

If you are giving gifts because you should, you are not enjoying the process. Stop and look at the people that you have on your list. Who do you like? Who do you want to share time with? Do you really need to give gifts to everyone, just because you always have?

So, change the question from “Whom should I give to?” to “Whom do I want to give to?” Watch how the list changes. Now, for the next step, changing from ” What should I give?” to “What do I want to give?” What is a meaningful gift for you to give to someone that you genuinely care about? Do you want to give handmade scarves? Or do you want to shop for something that reminds you of the person that you are giving the gift to? There is no right or wrong gift, unless it is more than you can afford or you bought because it is something that you want, rather than what the gift-receiver would like.

Do not spend the rent money on gifts. If the person that you are giving the gift to is miffed because you didn’t spend “enough”, then they obviously do not understand what this gift is for. Do not let their response disturb you. If you are buying presents for yourself rather than the person whose name is on the present, you do not understand what this gift is for. Time to be aware of other’s wants.

So, enjoy the giving. Enjoy the season. And let yourself receive the most precious of all, the joy of being with people that you love. Happy Holidays!


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