Are you ready to make your gift giving list and check it twice? Without enough planning, the holiday season can induce stress and anxiety for many. Beyond unrealistic expectations for a Norman Rockwell Christmas, the expense of gift giving, reconnecting with bottled up family demons and the like, many want to avoid the season all together. What should be avoided instead, are the myriad of marketing messages telling you how simply amazing your Christmas season will be if you only buy or do whatever potion they’re pushing this week. When we strip all the hype away, focus on the reason for the season and the amazing things that are already in our lives that we can be thankful for, the stress begins to dissipate.
Think about those individuals on your gift list. Are they better served with a gift of your time and talent, or are you best off getting a Groupon coupon and heading to the NBA store for a unique gift from his or her favorite team? Offering gifts of time and talent, such as pet sitting, child sitting, gardening, computer help are all so appreciated and are truly gifts from the heart. Not only will the recipient be moved by your sincere gesture – but you’ll more likely than not make memories that will last long after the wrapping paper is removed. These gifts of your time and talent can easily be presented in the form of gift cards.
For more expensive gifts, consider teaming up with a mutual friend or two, or other family member s to make that expensive gift within reach. Gift giving can be just as fun when it’s a team effort. For neighbors and coworkers, feel free to spend a Saturday either baking or repackaging purchased baked good with a personal touch. Finally, make a plan and stick to it; you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself as much after the holidays as during!