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This holiday season our challenge to you is to be less conventional with your gift-giving by choosing quality over quantity and focusing on intentional ways to show love, generosity, and good will without overspending or wasting money on gifts that lack meaning. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite alternative gift ideas to share with you. May you be inspired this holiday season to ignore the pressure of social expectations and choose intentional giving.
Intentional time: Time is arguably one of the most versatile and meaningful gifts one can give. The beauty of it is that no matter your stage of life, if you are still breathing you can still share intentional time with another person. It can be sharing a meal, gardening together, telling your story to others who need encouragement, playing dress up, brushing someone’s hair, or simply sitting in silence and holding the hand of a loved one. Your presence and undivided attention are what transforms the mundane into a gift.
Life: Sign up to become a registered organ donor, and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Donate blood at your local blood bank. These two things can have immeasurable impact on the lives of others, and require little effort.
Benevolence: Make a charitable donation to any organization that is meaningful or that you feel inspired to support. You can do this in honor of any loved one and let them know that you’ve done so on their behalf. This can also be done in memory of a loved one who has passed away. Donating in there name can be a way to keep their memories alive and offer a chance to reflect and reminisce with other loved ones; a reminder that they are gone but not forgotten.
Teach: If we share our knowledge and skills with those who lack them, we create new opportunities to relate and connect to each other. In high school, my best friend’s mom taught us to sew. Many might argue that teaching a young girl to sew is outdated, among other things, but I still use the skills she taught me. You might not realize how many things you could teach another person. Do you know how to change a tire, or the oil in a car? Can you bake? Are you a writer? Do you have a knack for memorization or spelling or proper grammar? Even simpler, teach someone a song or a poem you know. Teach them about life when you were young. Teach them a lesson you’ve learned. Share who you are, your knowledge, your frustrations, your joys and sorrows. Teach by telling stories from your life.
My favorite memories with loved ones aren’t the ones where they gave me stuff, but the times they shared little pieces of themselves with me. Those pieces live on long after the moments are over. I hope you realize that who you are and how you share that with others is a priceless gift. Be well this holiday season.
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.