Communication Strategies Wk 6

Every year, around the holidays we read “The Gift of Nothing” by Patrick McDonnell. In the book, a cat searches for a present for his friend who has “everything.” Eventually, he decides to give his friend “nothing.” He wraps a huge, empty box and, once the gift has been opened, they sit in the box together enjoying their friendship, the sounds of the night and the starry sky. In nothing, they see everything.

This simply drawn book opens the door to larger conversations about the different ways we might express love, kindness and gratitude. When the newspaper is stuffed with Holiday Sale circulars and the mall is jammed with shoppers, it’s easy to forget that deep connections can be made in simple ways.

Our last session of the Girl Group “Communication Strategies” Series was tons of fun. “The Gift of Nothing” prompted a conversation about giving. One girl said, “I can’t buy a lot of presents, but I can give a hug or my friendship.” Another said, “Sometimes a gift of nothing, like friendship, is better than anything you could buy at the store.”

The girls had a wonderful time jumping out of a large empty box. As they “presented” themselves, the rest of the group applauded and shouted out their gifts, talents and accomplishments. Everyone wrote down these compliments and presented them to the girl at the end of the session. The girls were delighted to give and receive these affirmations.

As always, we rounded out our last session with the “Pickle Jar.” Anonymous questions added to the jar throughout the series were answered by our teen guides and included topics surrounding friendship, school challenges and growing up. Asking and answering these questions prompted deeper discussion and made clear the deep connection felt by the entire group.

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Thank you for your participation in Girl Group. We wish you a peaceful and happy holiday and look forward to seeing you in the new year!


Wesley and Tanya

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