Giving from the Heart is Less Stress and More Meaning

At this time of the year, it is easy to get wrapped up in buy, buy, buy.  And that is neither smart nor economical.  Through the years, the gifts that have had the most meaning to my loved ones have always been gifts from the heart.  So what does that mean?  What does giving from the heart look like?

Really thinking about the person you are giving to and studying what they love, what they care about, what they are excited about.  Gifts should be about the recipient, not about what you think the recipient  should have.

Ex: my husband’s brother has spent years restoring an old Ford truck. He loves it. He spent hours working on it.  So Spencer managed to find an original owner’s manual to that truck on line.  His brother loved it and appreciated the thought behind it.

Understanding the needs of the person you are gifting. If they are homegrown, down-to-earth, and organic in nature, they probably will not like the latest slick toy.  On the other hand, if they have been playing computer games all their lives and are thrilled with new technology, that might make the perfect gift.

Handmade is always appreciated.  Even if you did not make it by hand.  Commissioning an afghan in someone’s favorite colors is exactly what my sister-in-law did for me and I so appreciated the thoughtfulness.  She helped an older woman who needed money and then blessed me with a sweet gift.

Food from your kitchen is almost always a hit (provided it’s not fruitcake!) To make it more memorable, attach a special ornament to the delicious offering.

Shared interests make great gifts. I am a kitty person, so I always love cat-related stories, stuffed animals that are cats, etc.  I also love self-help books, so my friends sometimes give me those.  If you share an interest with someone, reflect that in the gift.

The gift of your time and care can mean everything.  Sometimes, especially for seniors, the most important gift you can give is to spend quality time with someone and give them your undivided attention.  In this hustle and bustle world, that is very rare.  Having tea together and laughing and chatting can be the best gift of all.

The gift of lifting burdens can be invaluable. It seems in my life that over the past few years, more and more people have cancer.  So if I can help by cleaning their house, making them meals, spending time with them at chemo, helping them laugh(which is indeed the best medicine,) then I know I am on track.   One friend has a long list ofhouse projects and she is a single woman.  My husband gave her two hours of “honey-do” time this year for her present. She was delighted.

Whatever you do, give some thought to each person’s needs and dreams instead of just buying them the latest hot new thing.  They will love you for it and know that you love them. And isn’t that what the season is all about, anyway?

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