Sunday, November 27, 2016

'Tis the Season!

Yep. It is that time of year when nearly everyone is thinking about giving gifts. Holiday gift-giving keeps the economy going. Americans spend huge amounts of money on holiday gifts, decorations, and celebrations.

What all goes into gifting? Obviously, our money goes into gifting. But what else? What feelings do you have for those that you gift? Some of those we give to are loved ones, close friends, people you truly care about. You know about what they like, what they may want, what they need. And you strive to find something nice that they will appreciate.

I know that we have been shopping for family already and thinking about what each person is interested in and/or wants. The better we know them the easier it is to find "just the right gift" for them. For me that is the fun of gift shopping.

There are some folks who ask for a list of what you want, I suppose it is to make it easier for them to shop. But it becomes all too easy to just buy whatever is on the list and not really take the time to think about it. And I wonder if it is really as much fun for the recipient of the gift to know ahead of time what they will be getting. Anyway, we spend a lot of time AND money figuring out what to give.

This year, why not give something that really comes from you? By that I mean give something that is part of you, like time, companionship, assistance, conversation, fun. What might you give that says to them that you are giving something of yourself?

  • You might be good at needlework, woodwork, or some other craft and spend time making a gift for them. 
  • Maybe you love to cook or bake and could give them something they like to eat. 
  • Maybe you could make a gift certificate that promises to help them do some task they could use help with. 
  • Maybe instead of tickets to some entertainment you could TAKE them and spend time having fun with them. 
  • Maybe you could invite them for an evening with you and your family at your home or on an outing - skating, bowling, etc. 
  • Maybe you could put together photos in an album for them to share and remember special times.
  • You might take the time to write a personal letter, by hand, that says what you like, appreciate, and/or respect about the person. 
While you still might choose to buy a gift, I encourage you to also consider the gift of YOU. Building connections is so important in this day and age when everything is fast paced and impersonal. While keeping in touch on-line may feel like connection, it is a pretty tenuous connection. Let's go beyond the surface this year and take some time to build relationships.

Even those folks we gift that we don't know well - people we work with, people who work for us, the mail carrier/paper carrier, teachers, etc. - can have a "special" gift when you put a note in a card that says you appreciate what they do. Go beyond the usual little gift by adding your thanks, hand written thoughtfully. Take a moment to think of all the people you come in contact with on a somewhat regular basis and what you appreciate about them. Then put it in a note to let them know. Little things can mean a lot.

What are some other ways we can "give ourselves away"? Please share your ideas in the comments.

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