Christmas is a holiday bursting with excitement. The enthusiasm is contagious—especially when it’s from the people who come in our office wanting to improve their hearing in time for visiting family. They don’t want to just hear this season, they want to truly listen.
Generosity of spirit is a recurring theme for most holidays, but especially in December. It’s a time to give to those we love and reflect on the upcoming year. But as much as we talk about generosity of spirit, it’s not always easy to produce. Giving of ourselves means giving our time and energy to another person—resources that are already in short supply.
It reminds me of a conversation my kids were having over Thanksgiving. One admitted she’s struggling being more than a “fair-weather friend,” not knowing what to do or say when someone she loves is suffering. Another offered, “Maybe you don’t have to do or say anything; just be present.” There is more wisdom in our youth than we give them credit for!
Listening is a powerful gift. Hearing may keep us updated on the comings and goings of our loved ones’ lives, but listening keeps us emotionally connected and offers support during triumphs and challenges. Listening is so appreciated that some people will talk to complete strangers to have their needs met.
As the bustle of shopping and traveling swells and wanes, let’s practice not only listening to our loved ones, but to the many faces we take for granted throughout the day—from our neighbors, to our coworkers, to our baristas concocting peppermint lattes.