At the start of this Holiday Season, our good friend Michele from Pet News and Views, told me about a book that she really likes , The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell. During all the hustle and bustle of the season including the shopping, the lights, the glitz and the glitter, I thought often about The Gift of Nothing.
Now as the shopping season starts grinding to a halt with the holidays just around the corner, many people are still scrambling to find more gifts, gadgets and goodies to make the season bright. Some might even start to panic as the pressure mounts to find the perfect present. So, I thought again about The Gift of Nothing and how this gift, that is nothing, might be the most important gift of all. And I have back up.
A new study by Kimberlee Weaver of Virginia Tech and Stephen Garcia and Norbert Schwarz of the University of Michigan, revealed that adding a less expensive gift to go along with a more extravagant one actually reduced the impact of the nicer gift. In other words, your loved ones will appreciate an expensive gift more if it is the only one they get!
The researchers found that while you have the best of intentions following the “more-is-better” logic as the giver, the recipient unknowingly looks at the bundle of gifts and averages the value so that by giving more, you are actually giving less! You could easily cut your shopping, spending and stress by more than half and still enjoy the same spirit of the season!
I thought and thought some more about The Gift of Nothing and I wondered, if more is less, could nothing be the most?
I needed to spend some time in my “thinking circle” pondering this question. While “thinking” I decided that you might like to see The Gift of Nothing video:
I really love the time I spend with my parents. And sometimes I need to remind them. Every day I go to the office to put my paw down. I look at my mom and ask her to please come spend some time with me. I remind her that I am here living, breathing, purring. I want to play hide and seek and run around the habitat. I want to chomp chow while she pets me from the tip of my nose all the way to the tip of my tail. I want to feel her scratch me lovingly behind my ears and under my chin. I want her to scoop me up and hold me tight against her, and kiss me on the side of my head until I squirm and want down. I want to exchange the slow blinks of love! I bet your cat wants this too!
It is fun to share with your family and friends the gifts that you think will make them happy. But please remember, what is most important, is the time spent with each other. I ask you to do your best to be truly present with your cat and your loved ones this holiday season and throughout the days to come. This means unplugging, stepping away from the computer and the smart phone. Whatever it is, 99.9% of the time, it really can wait.
I have decided that the most important gift for cats and cat parents really is the Gift of Nothing!
Nothing but each other, being still, being present, being together, sharing time, sharing love.