The holiday season is known for both generosity and commercialism. As you gather around a dinner table with friends and family, here’s a simple ritual you can use to share gifts from the heart with those you love.
Gather four bowls. They don’t have to match. In fact, you can invite four guests to each bring a bowl. If you do, tell them to bring a salad bowl. That way, you’re more likely to get bowls of similar size.
The first time you do this ritual, it helps to assemble the ingredients in advance. The next time, solicit the help of several guests. You can assign them to bring a bowl and particular contents. Here’s what you’ll need:
Flowers – For the Beauty in Life
I’ve used this ritual at other times of the year for other occasions. Depending on what I had available, I’ve used whole flowers from the garden, flower petals, wild flowers, silk flowers, and cotton flower appliqués. I’ve even used flowers drawn on colored construction paper.
Chocolate – For Love and Friendship
For health reasons, I always use individually wrapped pieces of chocolate. Because the chocolate is to symbolize love and friendship, Hershey’s Kisses are ideal.
Coins – For Prosperity
Small change is fine. The symbolism is what’s important. That said, I once did this ritual with “gold” dollars. Just keep in mind that you’ll need enough coins for each person to have at least one.
Herbs – For Good Health
Most grocery stores carry small packages of fresh herbs. A mixture of two or three is ideal. If you can find only one, that’s fine. If you have a choice, I recommend basil. It’s known for giving courage. Rosemary is readily available too, especially this time of year. Rosemary is known for helping the memory. It’s often used in bridal bouquets to help couples remember why they fell in love. Dill is another favorite. It’s thought to encourage clear thinking. You don’t need to chop the herbs. Simply tear them in pieces.
Begin by telling everyone that you wish to give them a special gift, one that expresses what’s in your heart.
One by one, pick up a bowl. Explain what the contents symbolize. Pass the bowl of flowers, saying, “May you always have beauty in your life.” As your guests pass the bowl along, encourage them to repeat the phrase, or something like it.
Repeat with the chocolate, coins, and herbs.
Give your guests the opportunity to share their thoughts about the ritual. Don’t be surprised if no one wants to say anything out loud. Trust that your gift found its way into their hearts.
If you like this idea, please share it with your friends and encourage them to sign up on my website. I have some big things planned for 2018. In the meantime — and most importantly — May you enjoy every blessing of the season!