“It is better to give than to receive.” Was this just a saying to ease the pain of not receiving gifts or was it really meant to stir up goodwill? Gift giving is supposed to make one feel good about themselves, but it seems the meaning is being lost. Horns honk as shoppers vie for the few parking spaces left at the mall, people jostling about, bumping into one another and disrespecting the sanctity of personal space all in an effort to purchase “the perfect gift” that will garner the favour of others. Garnering favour? What happened to the goodwill? Where is the heart in this act of giving?

Do not forsake the warmth of heart in the act of giving. We may not give to receive but in this world of instantaneous connecting and virtual instant gratification, we have lost touch with what it means to give of our hearts with no expectation of return. Here are five gifts you can share with others this Christmas.

Converse – Do what you can to connect with others in the moment. Leave your phone in your pocket and speak to the people around you, interact and identify.

Laugh – Allow yourself to laugh and enjoy the uplifting feeling that a simple laugh can generate within you.

Attend events – Attend community functions designed to bring people together. Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are a great way to revel in the season.

Smile – Inhale deeply the sweet scent of evergreen and allow yourself to get lost in the sensory delight that this season has to offer. Smile and share this smile with others.

Be peaceful – Allow the season into your being. Relax, enjoy and connect with your inner peacefulness then share that peace with others.