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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
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Holiday Gift Giving

December 2004


Happy Holidays! ‘Tis the season to give. Give presents, more presents and still more presents. We have bought into the idea that we must give a gift to everyone that we ever met at any time in our lives. Our neighbors, the plumber, that little old lady who lives 5 streets over and is mean to us. Why do we need to give everyone a gift?


What does gift-giving mean to you? Is it a time to show your appreciation and love for someone close to you? Or is it a time to show off how much money you can spend? Or is it a time to try and buy someone’s love? If you are genuinely giving from the heart, with no ulterior motives and no strings attached, and you are giving in a way that causes you no damage, wonderful! Enjoy! You have the holiday spirit! However, if there are other reasons creeping into your holiday gift giving, it is time to re-think what you are doing.


You cannot buy someone’s love. If you keep giving bigger and bigger gifts in hopes that this year that person will love you and appreciate you, you are doomed to failure and disappointment. That is not how you get someone’s love. If they do not love you just for who you are, then you are not with the right person.


If you are showing off, hoping to impress people, then you haven’t gotten the holiday spirit. All you will create is resentment, not joy.


So, decide whom you really want to give a gift and then find one that best shows your feelings. It may be small, even hand-made, but if it is reeking of love, you have found the right one.


(By the way, the idea for this column was a suggestion given to me. If you ever have any ideas for topics that you would like me write about, please call or e-mail me. I love suggestions!)


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