I am a gift giver who is always on the lookout for new ways in which to show someone gratitude and appreciation for having touched my life. One of the best things I’ve found in a long time is a wonderful new book that is written exclusively on the subject of gratitude. I love the idea of expressing gratitude with an entire book about gratitude!

Kim Serafini, an expert on the use of Positive Psychology, is the author of the new offering “I Am Gr8ful for Life.” It is full of beautiful and valuable resources that deal with ways to summon gratitude. If you are looking for the perfect gift, I recommend you check out her book on her web site at: http://www.iamgr8ful.com. Kim’s book can truly help you get back on track with positive thinking if you find yourself, or the intended recipient, mired in negativity.

Virtually every culture exercises this custom of gift giving in one way or another. For example, in Japan, gifts are given as a matter of social duty with a whole slew of tradition attached, including devaluing the gifts and often, taking great pains to wrap it in unusual and attractive ways. I do not feel so socially dutiful when I give gifts, as much as I genuinely feel the desire from my heart to do so.

Before you give someone a gift, you should ask whether the giving of it is truly for the person to whom you want to give it, or if it is being given for you to gain something. If you give to someone in order to achieve personal gain, this is not a pure expression of gratitude.

There are those gifts that are given as a part of creating and affirming ties with a fellow human being, and those that are charitable gifts; the purpose of which is to provide help wherever it is needed, but not to create a debt of affection.

Gifts need not be elaborate to express gratitude. The important thing is to be mindful of the recipient.  Try to show that person that he or she is appreciated by paying particular attention to what makes him or her special, and try to focus on what he or she might want other than something you personally like for yourself. Then consider giving something reflective of that. Try to keep in mind that gift giving shouldn’t be so much about the thing one gives, as it is about the sentiment expressed and the thought that went into it.  After all, “The best things in life aren’t things.”

One of my favorite things to give is the gift of relaxation. I have found a product that is tantamount to giving someone a little mini-vacation that they can take without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes. It is called “Lithos Therapy,” and is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Both heated & chilled ‘rock instruments’ (a little like marble sculptures, and not at all like river stones) are placed on the recipient’s back to evoke a sense of peace and relaxation. You can read more about it at:  http://www.lithos.com.au/WhatIs.php. Whomever you give it will surely love it!

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