Regardless of religious preferences, most people celebrate Christmas and enjoy gift exchanges. Finding the perfect gift can be a stressor, however, especially for the friend or family member who has everything they need. Why not try the gift of “giving”? Giving of yourself and your time. I know – you’re already stretched and need to squeeze 36 hours into 24 as it is, but that’s just another reason to give the gift of “giving” – it forces you to take a break from your hectic schedule and get a little rejuvenation yourself. Even when the gift you give is emotionally or physically taxing, the personal joy you experience more than makes up for it. Here are some examples to get your creative juices rolling.
Offer to keep your best friend or sibling’s children for an evening of free childcare so they can enjoy a romantic night out with their spouse. Go a step beyond and keep the kids overnight – they will remember the gift forever. If you don’t have the space to keep them or your home isn’t childproof, offer to stay at their home – children often do better in their own place anyway.
Make a of pot soup for your Grandma, Great Aunt, or another elderly friend – then make a date to deliver it and stay to enjoy a meal together. Many seniors have material needs, but long for interaction with their busy friends and family. We recently invited our neighbors (both in their eighties) over for a simple meal. They enjoyed the food, but what meant the most to them was the time spent talking. They shared stories about past Christmases, their early-married life, and traveling from base to base when he was in the Air Force.
What about Dad? Ask to “borrow” his vehicle – then take it somewhere for detailing (or do it yourself) and return it with a full tank of gas and a Christmas card with a red bow stuck on the steering wheel. Write a short note in the card, thanking him for all he has done for you – including the times you used his car as a teen and brought it back empty. If you can’t afford to have his car detailed, just write a letter to him, expressing your gratitude for all he has been in your life.
Have a family member or friend who really does have everything? Donate a charitable gift in their name. Make sure you choose a charity that fits them and shows that you “know” who they are and what matters to them. For example, your vegan friend might not get into giving a third world family a goat for meat and milk, but he/she would be thrilled if the gift in their honor helped to dig a well.
Want to bless your coworkers, but the idea of shopping is overwhelming? Jump ship a few minutes early and scrape the ice from your coworkers’ windshields – leave a Christmas card under the wiper.
There are multiple ways to give the gift of giving and you don’t have to battle the throng at the mall to do it. Try a few – it might turn out to be your best Christmas ever.
All of us at Springborn Staffing wish all of our clients and candidates a Merry Christmas. May your days be filled with family, friends, fellowship, and all that fills your heart with joy.