12/09/2011 11:50 am ET | Updated Feb 08, 2012

Give Gifts of Joy This Holiday Season

'Tis the season to be jolly,
Spend your money but don't be sorry,
Buy a gift for the ones you adore,
But don't get stuck with what you can't afford,
For it's not the amount of money you spend,
It's always the thought that counts in the end!

Holidays pull on our heartstrings in a powerful way because of all the memories they hold. With each holiday, we anticipate and search for an emotional replay of the special sentiments they evoke. We can be fooled in trying to bootleg these feelings through buying gifts, but they so often fall short of giving us or others what we all seek most, i.e., a connection to what made us feel connected and a special part of our family and friends.

The emotional equivalent is best achieved by reenacting, recreating and sharing some of the special memories and activities that made the holidays so joyful. We all crave the special rituals that made life better, brighter and more meaningful particularly in these challenging economic times.

To make sure that we celebrate this holiday season in the most fulfilling way and with the appropriate spirit, each of us can do some soul-searching of holidays past and holidays yet to come that would be enriching. Spend some time thinking about what this holiday would look like in your mind's eye if it made you and meaningful others feel joyful.

So, in this holiday season, let's give thanks to our will to help ourselves live with grace and gratitude for what's possible and act today to assure that we continue to receive life's blessings and share them with our most precious loved ones.