Archive for December, 2008


Non-Traditional Gift Giving

Posted by: Barbara | Comments (0)

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.  What if Christmas*, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” … Dr. Seuss

 *Whatever guides your spirituality…Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza 


Let’s face it.  Dr. Seuss says it best with his playful yet poignant messages geared for children of all ages.  This thoughtful quote is particularly appropriate as we prepare for the holidays. Yes, tis the season to buy gifts.  But consider going beyond the traditional furry slippers, red tie and toy train set to support one of your favorite causes. Below are three options I found that could make your shopping list more meaningful.   

1.  A Gift of Time
This requires no money but rather a gift of your time.  Surely someone on your list can use your help to tackle a project.  Think of what skills you have that would aid another in completing some task that is too challenging for them alone.  Can you help someone with their computer based on your technical expertise, can you run errands for a housebound relative, are you good at organizing a kitchen to make it more efficient or could you bake a hot loaf of bread for a favorite neighbor?  Just ask if there is a project they’d like help with instead of a traditional gift.  You’ll be surprised at how this gesture makes the person feel so cared for while deepening your relationship! 
By the way, if you have some tasks that continue to mount or seem impossible to complete, then why not take the first step and ask your relative or friend if they’d consider helping you instead of the usual gift exchange.  I know of one family, who just by asking their kids had a much-needed fence built while they were all home over the holidays.  What a gift!
2.  A Gift of Appreciation 
Our troops have left their families, friends, jobs and school to defend our nation’s freedom around the world.  I am so grateful for their service, dedication and unbelievable sacrifice.  If you feel similarly, you can express your gratitude by logging onto one of the following sites and easily connect to a soldier who is celebrating their holiday far from home.  The American Red Cross is a lifeline for deployed military members, supporting them in all aspects of their service on the front and when they return. If money is an issue, you can still express your gratitude.  Just send a free virtual holiday card by logging on to America Supports You.  Look on the sidebar for Thank the Troops. Your message will be forwarded to one of those brave soldiers who are missing their loved ones. Every word of hope and best wishes means so much, even from strangers. 
3.  A Gift of Charity 
Changing The Present is a non-profit group that offers gifts that change the world.  I am so impressed with this organization that I chose it for my gift to honor all my clients.  This site has a wide variety of causes that make a difference in the world no matter what your favorite charity is.  It is very simple to give this way, and they will send the recipient a card announcing your gift.  
The holidays are not as much about opening our presents as they are really about opening our hearts.  I hope you’ll find your way to think “outside the box”.

Categories : Retirement Coaching
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