From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Holiday Gifts

Welcome to December! The holidays are upon us, and next year is just around the corner. Once again, we are faced with times of celebrations, expectations, and new resolutions.

December can be an exciting time of the year when our relationships are brought into focus. We think about the people with whom we will celebrate, we think about the people with whom we are close, but if we are not satisfied with those relationships, it can be a time of heightened loneliness.

The holidays are also a time to give gifts! Perhaps you might want to put these gifts on your list this year:

Self-esteem builders come in the form of other people and relationships, remembering proud and happy times, or learning new things. Personally, I enjoy taking continuing education courses, listening to series of tapes, learning new crafts, or challenging myself in some new way. When we learn new things, we feel smarter and more confident, and have more interesting things to think and talk about.

The recent movie, "Paradise" had a wonderful scene in which an older woman, an artist, was befriended by a little girl who was lonely and needed to be treated as "special". The artist decided to accept the invitation for friendship with the little girl. When asked why she had developed her new interest in art, the little girl beamed, "She thinks I have talent".

In these difficult economic times, when the expectations for gift-giving are at their highest, consider giving things that don't cost money. The gifts of your time, friendship, listening and personal growth are gifts that we can share with others that have low costs and lasting benefits.

ęCopyright, 1991, 1995 Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.