Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Just ask Andy Williams. But why then are we so stressed out? I’ll tell you why. Because money’s tight, the malls are packed with other stressed out people trying to figure out what to buy for Aunt Mildred, and Christmas gifts are expensive. What to do?
First, ask yourself this question. What do your friends and loved ones really need? Another pair of cheap earrings? An ugly tie? Some useless little knick-knacks? An itchy, mohair sweater that doesn’t fit? I didn’t think so. And do you really have the extra cash to spend on hundreds of dollars worth of presents that no one wants? I know I don’t.
So this Christmas, why don’t you give the gift of YOU. Volunteer to drive your elderly neighbor across the street to her monthly doctor’s appointments. If you’re a decorator, help out your design challenged sister with a free consultation. If you’re a massage therapist, give an hour of spa heaven to your friend with back problems. Make plans to cook dinner for your parents once a month and sit down with them and really talk. Arrange to do your uncle’s income taxes for him if you’re an accountant. Do you have friends with pets? Take their dog for a walk or feed their cat the next time they go out of town. Offer to baby-sit for the single mom next door so she can go to yoga classes on Saturday mornings. You get the idea...
Genuine kindness and consideration are so much more appreciated than a hastily chosen gift that you can’t really afford, and that will probably end up taking up space in the back of a drawer. Be creative! Be thoughtful. And carry the spirit of Christmas with you all year long.