Friendship and holiday gift giving

The starting line for the holiday shopping season is in view! We are making our lists and scouting the advertised sales starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. We struggle with the challenge of matching the perfect gift to each person on our holiday gift-giving list. Some people with talent and skills are creating gifts for the people you hold in high regard. We are all trying to make sure that we convey to our loved ones how much we value them as part of our lives.

Those shopping lists can also be looked at from a different angle. Reading the list of names brings thoughts of warm memories and a feeling of acceptance. We have also created a list of the people that value our presence and chose to include us in their thoughts, prayers and time. 

Gift giving can be challenging. There are the obstacles involved including time to shop, evaluating likes and dislikes, crowds, parking, mailing, and of course, finances. Like Santa told my mom one time, “Somehow you make it all work.”

At times throughout the season we either say or hear “It is the thought that counts.” At first reaction that may sound like an excuse or sympathy. When you really think about it, it is neither. This saying holds within it what the actual gift is. Being in someone’s caring thoughts gives us the meaningful gift of acceptance, love or friendship. We rarely take time to stop and think about how people include us in their thoughts and wish us good things throughout the entire year. In some cases it has been over many years. That sure does add up to a lot!

There is also the old saying, “Friendship is the gift you give to yourself.” I do not recall who said it first but it is a great saying for the holiday season. We know that it means that if we offer our friendship we will then find friends to add to our lives. The support and power of friendship changes lives. Those of us involved in the Compeer Club West Program see this occur all the time. 

If you are looking for a way to give the gift of acceptance and friendship to others please consider joining Compeer at Far West Center this season or in the coming year. Compeer’s  motto is “Making Friends. Changing Lives.” It is the summary of what Compeer does. If you become a volunteer for Compeer we can guarantee that you will receive many gifts in return including new friends, meaningful activity, laughter, community involvement, wellness opportunities and rewarding accomplishments. Compeer volunteers are asked to provide friendly support and encouragement in social settings.

Why not put yourself on your “gift giving” list? Consider joining Compeer at Far West Center and you will receive more than you give. If you are interested we can arrange for you to talk to a current Compeer volunteer! You can reach me at 440-835-6212, ext. 242.    

Denise Ayres

The Compeer Program has been serving adults that are managing mental illness from our Far West Center office for  22 years! The Compeer Program is a branch of Compeer, Inc., an international organization. Compeer matches adult volunteers with same gender adult consumers of mental health services to provide friendship, emotional support, and encouragement.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:20 AM, 11.13.2012