Does your list of things to do include Christmas shopping for people you care about but are out of ideas for what to give them? I suspect so. Most of us really don’t need more things. What many of us long for is more time. We crave more time for activities that add meaning to our lives or help us relax and calm down. Many people crave more quality time with their friends and family.
Here are my top twelve Christmas gift-giving ideas that don’t involve another trip to the mall with the crowds and frenzy that has come to part of what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Most of these are also easy on the budget. I suggest you make yourself a cuppa your favorite beverage, put on some seasonal music, and relax as you review these suggestions, followed by my personal wish for you this holiday season.
Give More Presence and Fewer Presents
- Make a date to spend time with the people on your list – in person if possible, via phone or one of the many Internet options if geography gets in the way. This is an especially welcome gift for the older people on your list.
- Make a date to do something together you both enjoy – a museum, concert, play, park, unique shopping location, or explore some place nearby you’ve never gone before.
- For parents of young children, take the kids to a park or playground so the adults can tend to their Christmas preparations without quite so much “help.”
- Or offer to come play with the kids in their own home so the adults can go out for an adult date.
- Make a date to go look at lights together.
- Offer to wrap their Christmas presents .
- Put together a playlist of your favorite music and share it with your friend or relative. [Hint – if this is for an older person, you might also include an offer to help them install the music on their device.]
- Give a coupon for year’s worth of monthly ready to heat and eat meals.
- Find out what causes are near and dear to the person and give a donation to it in their name .
- Share a book you enjoyed with an invitation to discuss it over coffee when they finish it.
- Offer the gift of lessons to learn a skill you have that they’ve suggested they might enjoy learning – golf, tennis, sewing, knitting or crocheting, a new computer program, guitar, woodworking, etc. etc.
- Offer to help with a household chore such as cleaning out a garage, yard work or housecleaning, or a trip together to a resale or consignment shop to drop off items no longer wanted or needed.
Peace Is Within Our Grasp
This can still be a most wonderful time of the year when we find creative ways to spend more time with people we care about and less time frantically shopping. This is a good time to reflect on ways the peace we seek is within our grasp. Peace is not out there somewhere. The peace we seek is in our own hands, minds and hearts. Each decision we make about how to invest our time for the next year, week, day, or hour will either increase or decrease our sense of peace and well being.
Though storms may rage all around, we can calm our anxiety as we focus on what is going right more than what is wrong. We promote a more peaceful and harmonious world as we share ourselves and our time with others in a spirit gratitude and thankfulness.
My Christmas Wish For You
I wish for you A Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Most Peaceful New Year. Poet Catherine Pulsifer expressed my sentiments beautifully. What she wrote is what I wish for you.
My Christmas Wish To YOU
By Catherine Pulsifer
If I could wish a wish for you,
it would be for peace, faith, and happiness
not only at Christmas,
but for the whole year through!
I wish that there always be food on your table.
That you always give to those less fortunate.
May you always take time to share,
and thank those who have blessed you.
I wish for time, so you may reflect
on the blessings that you have,
and that you express your love
to those who are dear to you.
May you never feel lonely,
because there are those who care.
That you realize: you are special,
you are unique, you make a difference,
not only at Christmas, but all year!
I wish for your thoughts to be positive ones,
that you never quit, that you never give up,
and that you continue to learn.
I wish for the love, and peace of God
to be yours always.