I shuffled down the hallway in my new holiday pajamas – a birthday gift from my sister Lisa. Fleece-lined and crazy soft, they have the words, “Snow Queen” splashed across the chest and it makes me laugh every time I catch my reflection in a window.
There’s nothing like staying in pajamas on a quiet holiday morning which is why I decided they’d make the perfect cooking attire to work in as I prepared my part of the Thanksgiving dinner we’d be sharing with friends later in the day.
As I removed food from the fridge, I remembered my holiday ritual and quickly went to a nearby bookcase to pull a CD from a small stack of favorites. The label read: Thanksgiving Music.
In the mid-1980s, I facilitated my first support group for young men and women who were interested in exploring the immerging world of self-improvement. We met every Thursday night for twelve weeks and at the final session a shy, young woman handed me a gift.
“Thank you for helping me to make my life better,” she said signaling for me to open the present. As I unwrapped a cassette tape, she explained, “I made this mix tape filled with some of my favorite New Age music. I hope you like it.”
I loved it! Over the years, having transferred the tape to a CD, I listen to it repeatedly throughout the holiday season. I listen not only because the music is beautiful, but also because it reminds me of her and our time together long ago.
This year, as I chopped onions and carrots to Andreas Vollenweider and songs from the Narada holiday collection, I thought about how a simple, inexpensive gift made with love has brought me so much joy over the years.
At a time when many are struggling with the high cost of essentials (not to mention a world filled to the brim with so much stuff), it might be wise to do things differently this year. A framed photo of a special memory shared with a friend, a handmade piece of art, or your own curated playlist crafted with intention, may be the best, most memorable present of all.
P.S. –My new audiobook, Self Care for the Wisdom Years, is now available from Sounds True. You can find it, here.