Do you feel like gift giving and the holidays have taken on a whole new life of their own recently? During October, I saw many Christmas displays full of gifts and decorations, but Halloween hadn’t even been celebrated! Here are three ways to make your holiday gifts more meaningful this year without buying stuff.
Enjoying an experience with a dear friend, colleague, or your family is my first choice when thinking of gift giving. Something as simple as driving to a friend’s home and enjoying lunch together. Having a heartfelt conversation with your parents or a trusted colleague, seems so simple, but how often does it happen?
Science has proven that personal connections with those we love and care about provides us health benefits. Friendships and positive relationships enrich our lives on many levels, so take advantage of the holidays to show you care.
Give Your Time
I’ve written about volunteering before and can’t stress enough what you receive when you volunteer. Donating time to your community is a service that keeps giving throughout the year. I’ve donated my time to local art organizations and events. Having a common goal with these groups connects you to your community.
I’ve donated to animal rescues in my father’s name, since we both love helping animals find their forever homes. Dad still talks about it being the best gift ever! Give your time to assist with a shelter’s website, an adoption event, or fundraise for larger projects and supplies. The sky’s the limit, and you feel so good after volunteering!
No Gifts Rule
The final option is something I use with my husband and very close friends, and that is “no gifts please.” We just don’t exchange gifts, period. The “no gift rule” is something I’ve used during many anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmases. No gifts, just re-enforces the other two options highlighted earlier.
I love to give my time to these very special people and nonprofit agencies. These are “my tribe,” who have given me so much over the years. My gifts are the memories of a special meal together or reminiscing during a walk around the park. Time together to make new memories is our gift to one another.
You should try something new this year. You might be surprised how the pressure to the find the “perfect gift” has been lifted for both of you. If you bring up one of these gift ideas, you might spark a new tradition this holiday season.
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