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Are you just plain tired of buying gifts that don’t seem to be appreciated? Are you on a fixed-income? Do your grandchildren and loved ones seem to have every toy/gift invented? Consumerism and Christmas have become a hand-in-hand relationship. Stores stock Christmas decor and merchandise immediately after Halloween, intending to cash in on the value our society has placed on buying things. The same question Dr Seuss’s character, the Grinch asked himself comes to mind: “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” Is it possible to not give a physical gift and still show your love? The answer is yes. Living that out will just require some thought and effort.
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “presence over presents”. The gift of time is often far more valuable than any item we might feel obligated to buy. Unlike other commodities, we cannot replace time, create more of it, or purchase more. That makes time significantly precious. Instead of spending time in a crowded store or on the internet hunting down a gift your loved one may or may not love, invite them over to share a meal, a snack, or a warm drink. The menu is less important than setting aside intentional time during the busy holiday season to sit and chat with your loved one.
Think outside the box this season. Make a list of the people in your life that you’d normally buy a gift for. What are their interests and abilities? Do they have any hobbies? Brainstorm experiences that would be special and out of the ordinary for them. Read a favorite book to the children in your life. Invite them on a walk around your neighborhood, or spend an hour at a local playground with them. Perhaps a younger friend or relative just needs a night off from their children. If you are able, a gift could be a coupon for “free time”, offering to take the children for an hour or two. Share a special recipe with someone. Even better, let them help prepare it with you and enjoy each other’s company as you cook or bake a dish to share.
This year I asked my young nieces if they would like to play dress up in my closet and choose a gift out of it since I won’t see them on Christmas. They heartily agreed. The smiles on their faces and the excitement as they tried on my clothes and accessories was a gift in itself. You know your loved ones best, and the gift of time will look different for all of us. The joy is the same though, and the memories you create won’t be outgrown. Be well this holiday season and stay tuned for more alternative gift ideas.
DISCLAIMER: This article contains information that is intended to help the readers be better informed regarding exercise and health care. It is presented as general advice on health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Before beginning any new exercise program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of a licensed physician. The reader should consult with their doctor in any matters relating to his/her health.