Gift exchanges

(Version française ici)

With less than two weeks left before Christmas, I would like to take a few minutes of your time to assess the values and behaviours linked with Christmas time. When I think about Christmas, family gathering comes to mind. With our busy lives, it can be hard to see our loved ones on a regular basis. People who have time off during the Holidays might find that it is the perfect opportunity to catch up with family and relax; whether the family is made of very closed friendships or blood tie. Some people really look forward to these family gathering, when other people dread the obligations, planning and fatigue that come with it. The way we experience Christmas time is probably linked with our personal involvement in the celebrations. Are we the person hosting the party every year, the person who does most of the work, gets no rest and misses most parts of the celebration? Or are we the invited person who takes her time and enjoy what is offered? Could or would we change place?

With the tradition of offering gifts, which is sometimes called “gift exchange”, I would like to explore that notion of exchange. Are the exchanges fair? Is it necessary? What exactly is exchanged? (Apart from the obvious answer describing the given object).

Sometimes, we say: it is the intention that counts. Ok, but the intention of what exactly? Of having thought of someone? What if we dug a little bit deeper to really understand our motives? Are we giving time and money because it is a tradition and that it would be not well received to do otherwise? Ok, it is a way to show to someone our love and appreciation. But, are there other ways than offering an object that could manifest our love all year round? Could we be the gift? By our way of being, of listening, our advices, the share of our skills, etc.

Let’s think about it: what if Christmas didn’t exist, but that everybody had free time at the same time of the year. What would we do? Would we have the same desire to celebrate and get together? Would we exchange gifts? Would we eat differently and too much?

I understand that with the spirit of the Holidays comes that idea of rewarding, of doing what we don’t allow ourselves during the rest of the year. But somehow, we repeat the same kind of celebrations year after year, when the ways of celebrating are infinite.

Also, isn’t a bit weird to see side-to-side two opposite lines of thoughts not conversing with each other. We emphasize more and more about the consequences of consumerism on the environment, but the magnitude of Christmas shopping continues. We buy gifts, decorations, clothes, festive food and drinks; all that to make a few days memorable. But is it working?

I know for myself that the Christmases that are engraved in my memory are those where we did things differently. There was the one when my parents didn’t had much money and my mom invented false gifts made of kernels. As a child, I learnt the reality of money. I’m happy that my parents haven’t indebted themselves more to try to make us happy. We would have missed an important lesson.

I remember the Christmas where I didn’t want to live and that even my dream gift, an electric guitar, had no power to uplift my spirit.

I remember a Christmas spent with two lovers, as we shook a little bit the traditional view of couple.

All my other Christmases are blurry. I’m sure I had some beautiful moments, but surely, I haven’t learnt anything and my awareness remained the same, despite of the gift given and received.

In this few days before the Holidays, I invite you to meditate on what could make this time of the year memorable. What can you offer of yourself to others? What are the values you want to exchange? How can you transform tradition to make it fit with what you think is important? I’m offering you the picture below to light the fire of your inspiration.

Have a good week and novel ideas to celebrate!

Light and Peace


My paintings as an illustration of human transformation

Did you know that the idea of transformation is what inspired me to create my Meditation Tool series? I had no idea that the results from my painting sessions would be as mesmerizing. My intention was to use my support (wooden panel) as a metaphor of human life. We were born blank and as we move on into life, lots of things happen to us and color our emotions, our inner self. As I wanted to illustrate that constant transformation, from the beginning of my intuitive painting sessions, I photographed every step and every visual discovery! For almost two years now, I have nourished the intention to make stop motion videos, to share what I experience in every painting session. Here are the first ones. By subscribing to my Youtube Channel, you are making sure to not miss the next ones!

If my painting process intrigues you, I encourage you to visit my 2019 project page. I need volunteers for a scientific/artistic experiment and your participation will allow you to have a private demo of how I paint!

To see the finished paintings, here is the link to my online shop:

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