Favorite Things

“Oh wow! You did not!” It was my son’s birthday and he was opening his gift. One of my favorite things is surprising my kids.

“Oh wow! You did not!” It was my son’s birthday and he was opening his gift. One of my favorite things is surprising my kids. Ryan’s computer had crashed and was just limping along. This gift was as much for me as for him for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to spend hours trying to get his computer working only to have the outdated system crash again.and 2) He was doing his school work on my computer;deadlines and school projects don’t mix. To prepare for my stealth birthday mission I did some early reconnaissance and discovered he preferred a laptop. Then I scoured the deals until I found the right match. I was proud of my plan but the unveiling was the best part. After a stunned “You got me a laptop?” he picked me up in a big bear hug and proceeded to swing my legs to and fro. I think he liked it.

Giving a gift is certainly an enjoyable experience for those involved. According to our feature article, Do Good, Feel Good, “New brain-imaging research has shown that acts of giving stimulate “reward centers” in the brain. This includes the mesolimbic pathway by which natural dopamine is released, leaving us feeling euphoric.” I agree that giving is a ‘feel good’ activity, just remembering Ryan’s excitement makes me smile every time.

To help you attain that euphoric feeling this holiday season, we have put together a list of “naturally perfect gifts” on page 29. Give the gift of health this season and maybe you too will be swept off your feet in an appreciative hug! We’ve jam-packed our Conscious Eating column with holiday recipes to enhance your holiday festivities [page 23]. Plus, we have tips from Wayne Dyer [page 28] to help you set intentions for the New Year. As we close out 2011 and glide into 2012, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of the Natural Awakenings family. Whether a reader, advertiser, or distributor – all of us at Natural Awakenings magazine appreciate you and wish you a very happy holiday season.

Here’s to giving and big bear hugs!

Kris Urquhart, Publisher

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