As kaleidoscopic whirlwinds spin frantically around us in the name of love, joy, and peace; creating more stress, depression, and chaos than any other time of year; it is important to realize that we have choices. That’s right. We do not need to get sucked into the holiday rat race, stress balloons, or covetous kerfuffles. We can give our first present of the season to ourselves: permission to start a new tradition. Personal traditions can still honor our beliefs, while harmonizing the true nature of our spirit. They can provide a stress-free holiday season that feels more meaningful to each of us.
Our gifts do not need to impress, cost a lot, or compare to those of others. They can be simple gifts of love, straight from the heart. They can be manifestations of our natural talents. They can emerge out of our imagination, creativity, and personal strengths. Whatever we are capable of thinking and doing, we can focus into special gift ideas.
So let’s brainstorm together about some creative, meaningful, and inexpensive holiday gift ideas. You first. 😉 OK, OK … Think openly about what you can do. Can you use your computer? Do you know how to make slide shows, playlists, or websites? Can you responsibly care for children? Can you perform lawn maintenance or clean houses? Can you cook or bake? Can you sew, knit, or crochet? Can you write? Can you take videos? Can you house or dog sit? Can you wash and wax a car? Can you teach something? Can you build things? Can you advise, counsel, or coach? Can you cut or color hair? Can you teach yoga? Can you give therapeutic massages? Can you change the oil in a car? Can you clean gutters? Can you power wash a house? Can you paint? Can you install tile? Can you fix minor plumbing problems? Can you scoop snow off of driveways and sidewalks? What can you do? Jot down your answers in your smart phone or tablet. “I can …”
OK, now let’s take a look at practical gift possibilities. Has a friend or family member been wanting to start a blog? Can you help them do this? Does someone you care about want to lose weight, but lack the motivation or resources to get started? Can you provide article links and encouragement? Could you create a video of someone’s friends and family members sharing words of love and appreciation for them? Could you create a workout playlist to encourage her cardio? Could you change the oil in Grandma’s car? Could you write a special poem for him? Could you create a scrapbook containing treasured memories? Could you bake cookies or share your secret recipe? Could you prepare herbal remedies to help your Honey sleep? Could you teach a friend how to meditate? Get the picture? What could you do? Even when cash is abundant, many prefer the thoughtfulness of a personally created gift. Anyone can use plastic and click their mouse a few times. Which approach seems more meaningful to you?
What types of holiday gift approaches have worked best for you? Do you have a favorite? What types of gifts have you most appreciated receiving?
Photo Credit: “Christmas Eve” by Copyright by Osgood Co. – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c13450.