My birthday is on December 25th so I have a bit of experience when it comes to receiving gifts.

My parents were very good about separating my birthday and Christmas so I felt like I was able to benefit from both.  Christmas time became a very exciting time for me. There is a joke in our family about how my mom needed to hide the Christmas edition of the Sears catalogue.  If I saw in in October or November when it first came out,  I would spend every day analyzing all the new and exciting toys for that year. My mom would hear from Christmas and birthday list well in advance on a daily basis.

It was an amazing experience growing up with my birthday on this day.  The one thing I have found quite interesting is what new people I meet have to say about it. There are tons of interactions with people where they need to know my birthday.  At the doctor, the dentist, the passport office, the postal office, my work etc. The one thing the majority of the people is say is you must get ripped off with your presents or that must be tough to have your birthday on Christmas. A negative view on such an exciting day to have a birthday on.

In the past five or so years, my response has shifted to - I get to spend my birthday guaranteed with family every year.  It took me about three decades to truly feeling  this one major gift of having my birthday on Christmas.

Here is an even bigger realization I have started to comprehend more and more. This realization is something you can use in your own life. Everything is a gift. Everything.

We tend to view all of aspects of our lives as negative.  What do you think starts to happen when this becomes the focus of our lives? If all we see is negativity, then all we will see is negativity.

The real answer to improving your life is start seeing everything in your life as a gift.

Every struggle.

Every argument.

Every heartache

Every success.

Every loss.

Every rainy day.

Every car accident.

Every promotion.

Every time your child is sick.

Every time your are sick.

Every hug.

One thing to consider with this new view on life is sometimes you may not immediately see the gift.

How you ever had a “bad” experience in your life and days, weeks or months later was when you recognized some positive things that came from that experience?

I know for me some amazing people have come into my life during times of struggle. These are people I would have never met if that so called struggle hadn’t occurred.

My ask to you is to start taking small steps to seeing everything in your life as a gift.

Be grateful for the gift no matter what it is.