By: Dr. Tanvi Maharaja
As the year comes to an end, the spirit of Christmas envelopes me like one of those foggy, shimmery winter mornings. I remain utterly enchanted and enthralled by the beauty of this season, and this festival in particular. Even in my forties, I cannot help but gaze wide-eyed as a child at every Christmas tree I see, at every house that is lit up, and at the sheer beauty and brilliance that surrounds us.
What invigorates me even more is the whole ceremony that goes into gifting. Getting gifts for people I love and care about, and then some for people I do not know but still care about, is a soulful and almost therapeutical (if somewhat commercially exploited) concept. For my close ones, it is no mean feat to think of a gift that will surpass its need and utility, yet be aesthetically pleasing and come as a complete surprise; the more unpredictable, the better! It fills my heart with joy beyond words to see them opening their presents and to see the smile radiate on their faces; I would much rather watch them open their gifts than open my own.
As for the gifts that we send to folks we do not personally know, such as charities or other community programs that may be offered locally, it is equally hard to find something that is a touch above the rest, unique in a sensible way, and personal enough so that whoever receives it knows that it was given utmost thought and consideration.
On a side note, although I do buy gifts, I try to do so from local stores to support our local community. The idea is to customize even a store-bought gift with a unique, personal touch. Something that is meaningful and relatable.
However, nothing surpasses giving in kind: giving your time, your attention, your sincerity and dedication to a purpose, your thoughtfulness and empathy. Kind words and a warm smile are an all-time hit as gifts (although usually, people prefer an actual gift along with the said words/smiles!).
No matter which way you look at it, giving is always more beautiful, more magnificent, more heartwarming than receiving.
And that, I think, is the beauty of Christmas.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas to you all!