The Gift of Friendship

By Pat Nichol


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“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.” –Richard Bach

During this Christmas season, keep this thought in mind: material gifts are immaterial. Often the best presents we can give to each other are a willing ear, an open heart and shared laughter. The gift of friendship, in other words.

The gift of sharing friendship is simply being a friend when a friend is needed; guaranteed to make our lives better and make us feel more fulfilled.

During this final month of the year, when most people are rushing about malls trying to find the perfect gift for Aunt Millie, Uncle Wilfred and 14 nieces and nephews, be an island of tranquility for all your harried friends.

It can be as simple as sharing a cup of ginger tea and a cookie on a grey, rainy morning. Know that when two or more gather in friendship, there is no darkness.

When you venture out on your own holiday errands, offer a kind word or a smile to each person with whom you interact: the cashier who, hours into her shift, is still smiling despite aching feet; or the homeless person who needs a warm word, as well as a warm scarf to get him though another day.

Make this season about more than expensive wares and glitzy wrapping, make it about connecting with others. If you ever believed in the magic of Santa Claus, share that magic again by sharing kind words and a smile. Santa Claus represents the giving heart we are all capable of having throughout the year.

If gift-giving brings you joy, in addition to trinkets this year, share the gift of your time and friendship. Even though it may mean something different for each of us, at this time of year, friendship simply means being together.

And when being together physically is not possible, be together in your hearts. My small family is scattered around the world this year, from the remote community of Ymir, BC to the distant and exotic Ubud in Bali. So, our Christmas will be together in spirit and love – if not in person.

I wish you all love, peace and friendship this season.

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