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How to give the most valuable gift this year.


How to give the most valuable gift this year.

I watched a little boy open an early Christmas gift, yesterday, before a table full of friends and family. He unwrapped the paper-clad present—throwing bows and cards aside—his face bursting with excitement, eager with curiosity and absent of guile. Once through the paper, he blew past the packaging, removed the shiny, brand new, clearly expensive and sophisticated toy, placed it on the table amidst the rumpled ribbon, the torn tissue...and then proceeded to go back and play—utterly enthralled—with its box

I watched the table full of adults exhale, almost disappointedly, with the child’s choice. Here, they had offered this little boy a shiny new truck—one that he could automate, one that would educate, that would stimulate. But what the boy really wanted to do, was to CREATE. An entire world. From scratch. For himself

I sat at my adjacent table, transfixed, at such a beautiful illustration of what we all want. 

So often, when we come together with those about whom we care deeply, we don’t want them to fix our problems. We don’t want them to lend immediate advice, to fill the gift box with a set, finite, pre-formed parameter for what we should do—we just want them to hold space. The box with which the toddler chose to play was not empty of toys, it was a treasure chest full of unfettered creativity, just waiting for the boy’s imagination to unlock its infinite potential. One in which he made the rules, one in which he created the problems and solved them. It was an amorphous space into which he could peer and see something different every time. One in which he could glimpse an entirely new world at any given moment, one in which he could elicit ever changing, ever expansive adventure anew. 

If you’re wondering what to gift someone you love this holiday season, try offering them unconditional, judgement-free, time and attention. Try offering to hold space for them; space for them to be who they are, where they are, and how they feel at that given moment. Offer an open heart, a silent acceptance, a resolute reverence for their vulnerability. Offer a gift box, open and steady, full of room for any wonder that may come.

Have a happy, healthy, and whole holiday season, from my heart to yours 🥰.