mid-December and it seems all our energies and money goes into
buying the perfect gift for those special people in our lives.
Some people are easy to shop for, but others are a real challenge.
I know that I have been struggling with shopping for a few years
now. Christmas is always the hardest. For some reason, I seem to
be able to find something that works for birthdays and
anniversaries. Perhaps itís because those donít all happen at
once and in the middle of decorating, parties, and social events!
So this year, I did something different. I have been giving people
ďexperiencesĒ rather than ďthings.Ē I gave my parents
tickets to a concert theyíve wanted to see. I gave my expectant
sister and her husband a coupon for me to bring them dinner one
night. My husband gave me a full detailing of my car (thatís
been splashed with milk and is full of dog hair). I love getting
experiences. They are so much more valuable to me than a thing.
years, weíre planning to take the money we might spend on gifts
and set it aside for a big family get-together. It might not be at
Christmas, but it will be far more valuable than a few pairs of
socks and a sweater (unless of course, you knit the socks and
sweater yourself). Now, of course we will be giving gifts to the
children. After all, Christmas is about children. But, the
grown-ups will spend their money on making a wonderful memory.
Iíd encourage you to consider shifting your gifting thoughts.
Great gifts can be found just about everywhere. Maybe the best
gift is a couple of hours of babysitting so a new mom can get out
of the house and get her hair cut. Perhaps itís a certificate
for a class tuition that the recipient has wanted to take. What
about a house-cleaning for someone whoís been laid up with an
injury or illness? The possibilities are endless Ė if you use
your imagination and creativity.
Hereís some more great ideas:
-Take a new neighbor to an evening with your friends so she can
meet people in the area
-Give your friends a knitting class (or a scrapbooking class, or
any other craft class), but donít make it one of the direct
sales parties where they are expected to buy something.
-Take someone who canít get out a warm meal and spend some time
-Give certificates for something the person needs Ė grocery
cards, gas cards, oil changes, pharmacy cards. That way, they can
splurge on something special for themselves.
-Invite your kidís friends over for a play date, and have a
special tea for the moms.
-Take your children to the zoo or the park or the pool.
Can you see where Iím going with this? Iíve been talking about
commercialism at the holidays for many years now. Itís just
getting out of control from where I stand. If youíre feeling
like this Christmas thing is just way too hard or just way too
expensive, I encourage you to give experience this year. Your
friends and family will really appreciate your thoughtfulness and
creativity. I promise they wonít receive another gift like it
by: Lisa Akers is the president of Be Still & Knit.
Her company teaches women how to find peace and stillness in their
lives through handwork. By discovering knit and crochet, women
develop a new way to take time for themselves and share the love
they have as warm clothing! Find out more about Lisa at www.bestillandknit.com
or listen to her podcast at www.peacefulknitter.com.