by Jennifer DePriest

With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to take the time to talk to you about a different kind of gift this season. I’m not talking about things you can buy, but rather talents you have been given. While some people are artists or writers, some people are teachers, caregivers, or encouragers, which are also beautiful gifts to have. There are so many people that desperately need encouraging, no matter what they may post on social media. Many of you are parents or you may be the caregiver for your parents. This holiday season, what if you take some time to write a note to people that have mentored to you over the years or have inspired you by the way in which they are handling their journey through life.

Maybe you are single, but enjoy baking and cooking. Why not bake and cook for others. You have a gift, and there are plenty of people who would love a home cooked meal during this busy time of year. I do this and it also enables me to have wonderful home cooked meals for myself too, which leads to my other gift. One of the greatest gifts that we can give to our friends and family is to take the time to become our best mentally, physically and spiritually. With that in mind, what gift can you give yourself this holiday season? The gift of time to work on a long lost dream. The gift of time to give yourself 30 minutes a day to read or journal or go for a walk. What I have learned is that if we take the time to develop our gifts, use our gifts, and share our gifts with the world, not only do we bless others, but it helps nourish our own souls in the process.

One of my students, Michael Williams, has actually used the incredible gift he has been given and has turned his love for creating pottery into a business. When he started college that wasn’t his plan, but by taking the time to discover his gift, he is now able to bless others with the beautiful pieces he creates. Another student, and Michael’s sister-in-law, Chloe Warren Berthelot, uses her gift of photography to take beautiful images of Michael’s work that you can see at From Here Art. Photography is just as artistic as making pottery or writing and she is using her gift to help show his work to the world. I wanted to honor both of their gifts and am using Chloe’s photos of Michael and his work for this piece.

So this holiday season, ask yourself, “What are my gifts and how can I use them?” This will be THE most priceless gift you will receive this year. I am doing this myself. I have decided that my inspirational word for 2020 is “FOCUS.” I want to have a 20/20 vision with respect to my own goals. Once you can truly see the gifts you’ve been given, and know how you are supposed to use them, then, you can do incredible things. By taking the time to do this for yourself, I think that you will find in the upcoming year, the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that this gives you will truly be the best gift you could ever give yourself. I also think it is better than making a list of New Year’s resolutions that may be obsolete by the end of January.

So let me know what you discover as you set out to identify your gifts during this holiday season.

Until next month…


To learn more about Jennifer DePriest, visit her blog at She welcomes email at


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