Shopping for a gift for the important people in your life can sometimes seem difficult. There are so many choices from so many locations at so many price points. It’s hard to know for sure what’s just right.
True, it may be difficult to find the right tangible gift. But why is it we think that we must give someone something purchased to show them we care? Much of this comes the constant input from advertisers and marketers whose goal it is to sell what they make.
Think you’re immune to their marketing efforts? Ask yourself how many times you’ve said, “I need to get something for _________ because I am sure they are getting me something.” Or, “I have to get them something nice, I know they are getting me something nice.”
Quite frankly, that’s madness. How did we get here?
I think it’s important to go back to our roots, to remember Christmas and the holiday season as a time to be aware – aware of what is really important. And in the process of doing this, consider what we could give to or do for others that doesn’t require making a purchase. After all, the great gifts are often those that come directly from the heart.
So this year, consider giving those you care about something more from yourself. Consider giving someone the gift of time, uninterrupted and intentionally focused time. Consider what giving the gift of time could look like: meeting for coffee, going for a walk, reminiscing about past experiences, a surprise phone call or visit, or working on a project together (uninterrupted by technology).
Making time for someone, to share their space with them, is a great way to stay connected by acknowledging them and helping them feel cared for, valued and loved. To me, this seems like the best of gifts.
We are social animals who join others not just for physiological needs but for the company and camaraderie. We need and want people in our lives. Virtually every holiday show is about reconnecting relationships and how life got better when others changed even just a small moment of their day to spend time with another.
What would it take for you to buck the gift-giving tradition this year in favor of time giving – the giving of your time, concern, interest and love? How will you remember that at the center of every holiday is not the bows, the trees, the lights or the gifts, but instead is about time with the people you care about?
Remember that what truly makes the holiday special is making time, caring deeply, being present and connecting as people. Memories come from the way you feel, not the stuff you own and eventually throw out.
Make a commitment to give the gift of a great relationship to five people this holiday. I bet once you start, you will develop a new and more amazing holiday tradition.
By Jay Forte
Consider reading Stop and Notice Works Everywhere