A Very Special Holiday Gift: Your Presence (not presents)

There is nothing more important than having loving, supportive people in our lives.  People are benefited immensely by being surrounded with those who uplift them mentally and spiritually.  If you are sensitive, loving and spend time making others happy – you will never find yourself without friends. For in giving others the gift of your loving, nurturing physical presence, people will always desire the pleasure of your company.

Giving a present during the holiday season is a thoughtful gesture, but it isn’t the best gift that you could give. What would be better? Sharing time, energy, and talent with those who are important to you speaks far more than any material gift. What do most people want more than anything else? It is to be loved for themselves. And how does one show love? By being physically and lovingly present in the life of those you love. Giving your time is a great way to show you care. Your presence is a gift!

Distance and circumstance might put major obstacles between you and those you love, but taking the time to write or make a call, shows that you have not forgotten his/ her/or their importance in your life.. A present may be nice, but the giving of your energy and time speaks louder. Keeping in touch with loved ones is easier today with the internet – but a phone call from a loved one or a letter in the mail box is a welcome reprieve from the usual junk mail.

Everybody has talents which can be used to make others happy. I asked my granddaughter what she wanted for Christmas – and she asked for art supplies and yarn, so she could make gifts for everyone. I was so pleased to grant her request. It made me happy to think that my 11-year old granddaughter Marlena was thinking of others; and she wanted to expend energy and time making original gifts for her loved ones. Last year she designed lovely colorful star-filled folding note cards, which I treasured.

When I was a young girl, I remember that money was limited, so we had to wait until Christmas Eve to find a tree. We didn’t have ornaments, so we decorated it with strings of popcorn and cranberries. I don’t remember receiving gifts at Christmas, but during the year my father gave us toys and games. I never felt deprived. I always felt giving something; gave me a far better feeling than getting something.

My husband used to say to me, “If I came home and told you that we had won a million dollars, you would say ‘that’s nice!’ and if I told you that we had lost everything, you would say ’that’s too bad’.”  He didn’t understand why I didn’t show a lot of enthusiasm, when money or expensive gifts were involved.  I could never jump up and down like TV game contestants used to do, when they won prizes. I accept what life brings. My four children were the greatest gifts I ever received. I was in ecstasy holding my babies in my arms. I loved being around tiny helpless babies who needed me. I never got upset – no matter how much thy cried. I loved being there for them. Nothing else has made me happier, except the birth of my one and only grandchild.

My card in Arne Lein’s book What’s Your Card? – is the Queen of Clubs…and my destiny is service to others. Sitting next to my card is the Jack of Clubs. A very famous Jack of Clubs was Elizabeth Taylor. We had similarities and differences. We were both Pisces…and loved children and animals. I found a photo of her, taken when she was 12 – gazing down on some tiny puppies. Her face was all aglow, just looking at them. She always had a dog in her life. I wrote her and she sent me photos of herself and her dogs. The major difference between us: she adored jewelry…and I have no passion for jewels. She judged a man’s adoration for her by the size of the gems that she was given.

One of my clients whose wife was a nurse (who had taken care of Elizabeth Taylor) gave me an autographed copy of Elizabeth Taylor’s book, My Love Affair with Jewelry for a Christmas gift.  It contained photos of all her famous jewelry. When autographing the book, she asked for the name of the recipient. She was given my name. She recognized it and asked my friend’s wife, if I was a nutritionist. I guess she must have read some of my letters from over the past years. I felt a kinship with Elizabeth Taylor, because I had been a fan of hers, since 1944. I had offered to help her nutrition-wise, but she loved eating (all the wrong foods) and she thought her doctors had the answers.
It is sad to think that she died March 23rd (this year) at the young age of 79. I remember how she nearly died in 1961, when she had a tracheotomy. I cried my eyes out and prayed that she would survive. It is amazing how we take certain celebrities into our hearts – and they become like family. I totally believe in the power of prayer and felt that the Creator had answered mine. She survived for 50 years more.

In 1951 I was given a Christmas gift, which I still have. It was a $2 pair of Nittany Lion earrings. There was a little card which came with them from some girls that were in my dorm at Penn State. This little pair of earrings meant a great deal to me, because of what was written in the card. It said that they thought that I was a snob, when they first saw me, but now that they had spent a few months with me – they saw that they had been wrong. They accepted me as a friend. Something like this is very important to me. The earrings are not something I wear, but I treasure them for the memories they contain.

Giving is something that should be done spontaneously. A beautiful spontaneous gift is a smile, which everybody has the ability to give. One never knows the good a smile can do…it can save a life. I have read stories of how someone was so depressed and someone came along with a smile and a kind word – and helped change the direction of their life. Opening doors for others, when there aren’t automatic doors – is another interaction. Sharing the gift of recipes or other beneficial information is important. Each one of us has talents called gifts that we can share with others It is a shame when people always put a monetary price on their talents and refuse to share them, if they don’t get paid. Life isn’t just about money. It is about lifting those who are in our life. Each person we meet is an opportunity for one to be of service.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if year round people were in the Christmas spirit; going out of their way to make others happy. It would touch and change many lives – and I am still not speaking about presents. I am thinking about what each one of us could do to make those around us happy by simply being there. I think few people realize how important they are in the scheme of things.

My father’s first name was Robert. The meaning of the name was bearer of gifts. It was interesting, but he did give us a lot of gifts and he rarely waited for Christmas.We had every kind of sporting equipment from bikes, to roller skates, to badminton sets, sleds, ice skates, boxing gloves, etc. He also bought us many games. He gave us hours of his time teaching us how to use these things. He was a master at playing chess. I watched him play four men at one time and beat them all. When I was eleven, I beat him in a game of chess. I quit while I was ahead and gave up on the game. I didn’t think that I could ever beat him again. I was aware that my father was giving us something very precious…a gift of his time.

Time is a great gift to give and there are many opportunities all around, where we can volunteer to be of service. A person would never be lonely or bored, if he or she were willing to share skills.  Do you like to perform? Can you read with an animated tone? There are rest homes that could use people that could come in and read to bed-ridden seniors. There are libraries and schools that would love to have gifted people volunteer to read stories to young students. What are your gifts? What can you share with others?

A memorable book that I read years ago was entitled The Hundredth Monkey. The story took place on an island which had many monkeys. One little monkey discovered a better way to do a small task. There were scientific observers who happened to be there and they noted this occurrence, because the next thing they saw… other monkeys doing the same thing. Monkey see! Monkey do! Before long every monkey on the island was doing the same thing – washing food in the water, before eating it. Since they were scientists they took records which noted dates and times of these occurrences. There also happened to be scientists on a nearby island who were observing other monkeys. It was noted that the monkeys on the next island picked up this same habit of washing their food…shortly after all the monkeys on the first island washed their food. It appeared to these scientists that the consciousness of a species could be raised, when enough members of a species had their consciousness raised.

If this could happen to monkeys, it could also occur in the human race. If enough people had more awareness about thinking positively and realizing they could help elevate human consciousness; it could happen. Perhaps with this knowledge the world could become a better place. What would be one of the greatest changes that could occur? Peace – and the end of wars. Could there be a greater gift?

During the holidays starting with Thanksgiving – and ending New Years Day – all are more aware of the truly spiritual significance of this time of year.   PEACE is a prominent word in our holiday cards. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if everyone wantedpeace and put this thought into the Universal Consciousness?  It could happen, if enough people got on the same wave length. It would just take – making more people aware of the Hundredth Monkey Principle.

Most people in the United States have the necessities that many in this world don’t have. We should thank our Creator for the blessing of being born here. This year the seven billionth person was born. I am aware that there are probably more than a billion people who do not have many of the things that we take for granted.  For example, many in this world do not have water to drink, fresh air to breathe, a roof over their heads, decent clothes, food, furniture, indoor plumbing, etc.  We have been given gifts that many in the world do not have. There is no guarantee that the world as we know it today will exist in the future. The world population is projected to double by 2020 and the resources of the planet are going fast.

We have to focus on our needs and not our wants. Everyone is part of the problem, but everyone can also be part of the solution. Everyone needs to be totally involved in cutting back and recycling.  We are fortunate to have access to water to drink and bathe in. Many places world-wide are experiencing terrible droughts; and no water at all. Don’t run the water thoughtlessly. Limit the length of the shower; and don’t shower daily, if you don’t need it. Human awareness and involvement is necessary, if we want the planet to survive. Needs are: food, clothing, shelter and love. Wants are things you don’t really need.

You are the gift and your presence can change the destiny of planet Earth. You have talents no one else has that will make people happy. Take the first step by being there for the people in your life. Their happiness will affect their neighbors; rippling out into the community, then the state, then the entire country and eventually it will affect the world.  Did you ever give thought to the impact that you could have on the world?   Don’t think that you can’t make a difference. The longest journey begins with one step!

May this holiday season bring you health, happiness and an abundance of love.

Healthfully Yours,

Barbara Charis

P.S. If you like eggnogs, I have a recipe for a very tasty and healthy 32 ounce one:

Calories: 700       Protein: 20 grams     Fat:  12 grams  carbohydrates:  120

Pacific Sales Hemp Milk (no carrageenan) 4 ounces
Whole Foods 365 Certified Organic (cage-free) 4 ounces (2 eggs)
Bananas (3 or 4) 16 ounces
Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg ¼ teaspoon
Distilled Water 8 ounces
Kal Liquid Stevia # of drops? Slowly add to see what tastes good to you

Note: This drink is a meal for me. I don’t think of it as a snack. I limit the other protein foods on the day I have this as a meal. This is a very nutrient-rich meal. I use these eggs raw and have had no problems.. I would not advise using regular super market eggs raw as they can carry salmonella. Make sure the carton says Certified Organic, when you purchase them. Dr. Mercola on the web says that he has eaten 10,000 raw eggs. I have eaten them raw in eggnogs for well over 50 years.

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