I read this article the other day about giving 29 gifts in 29 days. The concept began when Cami Walker was diagnosed with MS at 31. Two years later, addicted to pain medications and bitter, she received a prescription from an African Healer: give 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami documented her experience of a month of gift giving in the book 29 Gifts. It is now, evidently, a global initiative. Here's a link to a CNN story about it.
Since the gifts can be as simple as a prayer, my assumption is that it is the consciousness of intending the gift that is important. Goodness knows, we do things all the time that would fit the category of "gift" by those standards--cooking a special meal, my husband buying organic fruit for Bryce Eleanor, a kind word here, my daughter bringing papers for me to sign rather than asking me to come to the office, my cousin packing his uniform when he came for Laddie's funeral so he could present the flag, Chris reading books so he can send the DVD to Bryce Eleanor; simple things, but heart-felt.
So...it must be the awareness of the kindness you intend--that old axiom "the thought that counts"--that benefits the giver. Intending to make life happier, easier, better in some way for someone and recognizing the intent....
Perhaps the act of giving makes us aware of our capacity for kindness. That is a tremendous reward, feeling the capacity and the potential for kindness. The feeling would be a positive aspect of self-love, the ability to empathize with another person's distress and to share in another person's joy.
I know I've wandered around on this one, but what I've been getting at has to do with doing ordinary things with love, rather than the thoughtless way we often do as a result of hectic lives. Thinking with your heart as you give the "gift." Since we simply cannot do this all the time, our lives are so busy, doing it once a day for 29 days is a great start to becoming more aware of our connection to others--family, friends, or strangers.
The idea of the movement is to document each gift in a journal to see what, if any changes, occur in your own life. Right now, I'm beginning to think of thoughtful gifts to give with love and awareness. Shifting focus away from myself and thinking about what might make someone else happy elevates my mood already. How strange the workings of our hearts and minds.
Again, I'm reminded of this video I've posted several times by Mipham--less of "what about me" and more of "what about you"....