Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Christmas, Give the Gift of Story

This Christmas, give the gift of story

During this hectic time of year, I hope you will take the time to share stories with those you love.

I think sharing stories is the perfect gift. Stories are affordable, non-fattening, and you can never have too many of them. You don't have to worry about size and color, the hassle of wrapping, losing sales receipts, or long lines at the mall.

Most people really don't need a new toy or a new tie, but we all have stories ("To be a person is to have a story to tell" Isak Dinesen) and we all need to be able to share our stories ("There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you" Maya Angelou).

Long after the batteries have gone dead and the luster has faded from other gifts, stories will live on. "Tell me a fact and I will learn; Tell me a truth and I will believe: Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever" (Steve Sabo).

Sharing stories successfully doesn't take much - a few thoughtful story-leading questions, an authentic interest and curiosity, and a few minutes of ease. Throw in a digital recorder or a video camera and you have a gift that you can share again and again and again.

This season is custom-made for remembering and recounting stories. Just ask anyone, young or old, to recall their most memorable Christmas, the best gift they ever received, the most thoughtful gift they ever gave, their loneliest holiday, the time they felt closest to the true spirit of Christmas.

Ask the questions and then sit back and enjoy their answers. Share your own. Watch their eyes sparkle. Notice how their cheeks glow. Feel the power of real human connection. This is the best way to enjoy the holidays.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, story-filled New Year.

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