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How to Give the Perfect Gift For Christmas

There is nothing quite as awkward as receiving a gift you do not want or need. We have all been there: another handkerchief, or an ornament that doesn't fit anywhere! Although these situations (and gifts) are unwanted, we can learn a valuable lesson from them, and that is how to give the perfect gift. If you want someone to be pleased with your gift, you first need to ask yourself what it is that they really want or need, not what you can get away with (or rid of).

Therefore, if you want to give the perfect gift you need to know what people crave above all else. Although you may use this guideline to seek out the perfect present for a loved one, you can also use it to bring joy to everyone around you. What is the one thing that people will risk looking stupid for? What is more important than material possessions or even status? What do people crave above all else?

Love and acceptance.

These two concepts go hand-in-hand and can really change someone's life for the better if they have it and for the worse if they don't. This implies that you accept people for who they are without trying to change their personality or passion to suit you. It also means that you love them unconditionally, with no strings attached. You love and accept them simply because of who they are, not because of what they do or what they have given you. For instance, if your two year old throws the Cheerios all over the floor, you are not suddenly going to stop loving her. Of course you didn't like the mess she has made and you probably thought that there was nothing to cheer about as it stuck under your feet! However, you still love her. What she did, did not stop you from continuing to love her. On the other hand, we often forget this principle of unconditional love and acceptance when we are dealing with other significant people in our lives. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you decided to apply this principle to other areas of your life and give other people this gift of love and acceptance? It may change their lives and it may even change yours.

So, how can you give this gift practically?

1. Listen

You have probably heard the expression that you have two ears and one mouth, meaning that we should listen twice as much as we speak. This certainly is true if you want to address someone's deepest needs. Become healthily curious by listening to their stories, their complaints and their highlights. Be interested in others and it will communicate loud and clear that you accept them and care about them. When you are giving someone a listening ear, you are giving them your time and when you are doing that, you are giving them your life. This is a great gift.

2. Encourage and support

When you do speak, make sure that your words will feed people's souls. Strive to always say something encouraging and uplifting. Avoid giving cheap advice, rather support people to be themselves and to become the best they can be. Inspire them to live by their own high standards.

3. Help practically

After you've used your ears and mouth, use your hands and serve them practically. The best way to know what to do is to constantly have one question at the back of your mind: how can I help this person right now? As long as you are tuned into their needs and really listened to them, you will also be able to respond to their needs, even if it is a very small act. It will communicate love and acceptance to them if it is thoughtful and help to address their need.

This is the season of giving, so it is a good time to start cultivating this habit of giving unconditional love and acceptance. Once you have made this a part of your life, you will find that it is a gift that keeps on giving and people will blossom all around you, and that makes love and acceptance the perfect gift.