The holiday season is often a time when budgets get stretched to the max. People run around hunting for this year’s in thing or scratch their heads about what to give Uncle Bob. In the end, most people have difficulty remembering what they gave last year and what they received. In many instances gift giving has become another “to do” list rather than an opportunity to connect and create memories. It doesn’t have to be that way if you shift your thinking away from things and toward more meaningful gifts.
Your first reaction when you look at a list of non-material gifts might be that they are “nice” but somehow not quite sufficient. If that’s your response, give yourself a little gift of reflection. Think about what makes a gift heartfelt, special and memorable. Sometimes it is a tangible thing, but often there’s a much more valuable gift that you can share.
As you make your holiday plans, consider these priceless gifts:
The gift of no.
Saying yes when you’d rather say no is a common experience. Give someone a card that simply says, “No thanks” that can be traded at any time during the year for something to which they would rather say no. They get to choose and you graciously accept their no even if you’d rather they say yes. Trust me – this is a powerful gift.
The gift of time.
Everyone says they don’t have enough of it, so time is the ultimate priceless gift. How could you share your time with someone? How could you free up someone else’s time? If you were given a free hour or day, wouldn’t that be wonderful? Make a commitment to honoring this gift so it doesn’t become an unfulfilled promise.
The gift of fun and laughter.
Commit to doing something fun with someone. It’s easy to become so serious in life that we miss the opportunities for fun and laughter. When was the last time you laughed until you cried? Or had so much fun you didn’t stop smiling for days? Create a game night or go to karaoke or plan a mini movie festival.
The gift of an unfulfilled promise.
Is there someone you have been promising that you’ll get together for coffee? Perhaps an outing with one of your children? Some uncompleted household job your partner would really appreciate? You know how it goes. There’s likely a long list of things you mean to do but time and busy schedules get in the way. After a while everyone starts to believe that it will never really happen. Give a firm commitment to someone to get together, or to start or finish a task. Then do it.
The gift of a keepsake.
Often we have some item that we intend to pass along to someone once we have died. Or sometimes we know that someone loves an object we have far more than we do. Consider giving a keepsake gift now rather than waiting. Pass along a piece of jewelry or a book or even great grandma’s rocking chair. Why postpone the enjoyment?