By Dr. Dina Evan


When we think of Christmas, we think of Christmas trees, hung stockings, red, gold and green decorations, and the sweet sounds of Christmas carols wafting through the air. Some think of church and Christ’s birth because they have been taught Jesus was born in December. Whatever you believe, it is also a time of gift giving and LOTS of shopping. Some TV networks are running ads, one a minute at a time for five minutes between segments and you can’t fast forward through them. Other shows like the View, and GMA, both favorites of mine, are running ads with Oprah’s most expensive products for Christmas in lieu of the Host’s conversations about meaningful things that are current. If you count them you can see at least eight 30-second spots between shows on some networks.

Lots of people are worried about money and what’s happening to the economy and most of us just want to turn off the radio and TV or plug our ears and get away from it all. If it isn’t about someone running for office it is about the next best gift to buy. It’s sensory overload.


What might Christmas look like if gifts that could not be purchased were given?


What might it feel like to get a gift in a tiny box with a pretty red bow with a message inside that says, “ My gift to you is once a month we are taking time together to go where ever you want to go for the afternoon to just be together” or “I am writing you a note each month of the coming year just to tell you all the things I respect or admire about you.”

Or how a homemade certificate that says “I am doing your grocery shopping once a month for the next year.” Or, “I am coming over once a month to do chores or make needed repairs for the next year.” Or “I am going to call you every week to just say I love you next year.” Or “I am going to take your trash cans out to the curb each week, or write something wonderful you did for me as a child to remind you, or remind you of a lesson/skill you taught me that I still use as an adult… and on and on. You get the idea and no doubt will have wonderful ones of your own.

We are living in an era when everyone is out for something, be it power, money or fame. We are fearful and wanting comfort and safety, but the things that could provide that are not the things we think of giving. And most importantly we give these things out of fear. Fear of not being enough, fear of not being loved or appreciated, fear of failing in some way.

We have been taught to reach outside of ourselves for comfort and assurance when the gifts are all inside. Start with the most important and powerful gift — the gift you give yourself by recognizing all the wonderful qualities in you. Look at all the work you have done on yourself, who you have become and all you have overcome…and then decide which of those you want to share.

  • Share a lesson you have learned on your journey, a new tool you put in your toolbox, a gift of knowledge someone gave you and share time.
  • Share compassion, forgiveness and understanding.
  • Share by simply showing up, staying and believing in another person’s ability to heal.


Christmas is about love.

There are a million ways we can show love by being a great friend, a caring family member, a great sponsor or sponsee, a great leader, or simply a great person who just speaks and acts from the heart, without spending a dime.

  • Give a compliment.
  • Give time.
  • Give the truth.
  • Give meaningful connection and conversation
  • Give hope, give comfort
  • Give love
  • Give of yourself and if you do, you will have made this Christmas the best ever.


Happy holidays and love to you all!   Dina



Dr. Evan is a marriage, family, child therapist and consciousness counselor. She has presented nationwide seminars and workshops, written several books and created meditation CDs for couples, individual and mental health professionals. Visit or call 602-571-8228.