This Christmas Give the Gift of “Nothing”

Christmas is the season for giving and receiving. Gifts we give are an an expression of our love and affection for our friends and family. However, gift giving can be an expensive affair. According to National Retail Foundation, Americans are expected to spend nearly $600 billion in gifts in 2013-2014. Most of this money is spent on Toys, Hobbies, Games etc.

The season for giving and receiving often turns into a stressful experience for a lot us us, when budgets are tight in an economy that’s just starting to recover.

So this Christmas, we recommend our readers, give the gift of “Nothing”!

We say “Nothing”, in the material sense – don’t buy gifts, don’t spend the money. Get creative instead. There are ways we can still give, in fact, give meaningful gifts to our dear friends and family. Rather than picking something off the shelf, how about we give ourselves, our creativity and our time to our loved ones? Isn’t that the Christmas spirit anyway?

In fact, the most meaningful gifts in our lives today are perhaps the ones that are curated with love, assembled with a purpose and made with care.

If you are looking for recommendations, we do have some quick ideas that we are working on ourselves:

Are you an aspiring photographer?

Give the gift of a photography session

(Our absolute favorite idea, we might add)

If you’ve got photography talent, why not offer your services for free for friends and family? My friends and family hire a professional photographer once a year to get formal family pictures taken, costing a couple of hundred dollars. Help them save their money and time. Select a natural locale, a lush park, or even a city scape and click away. It’s a gift your loved ones will frame for sure.

Are you an technology professional?

Give the gift of free technology services

Not all of us are great with technology and we often give up on social media / blogging because it all seems cumbersome. If you are all about the tech revolution – you can be a tech consultant for your friends. Help them create a website on easy to use blogging platforms, or help them learn how to share things on social media. This list is endless and the service you’ll provide is worth every penny!

Credit: Val D'Aquila, flic.kr:p:oyDR1Z
Credit: Val D’Aquila, flic.kr/p:oyDR1Z

Are you a writer?

Give the gift of content

Writing well is indeed a rare talent. If you can write, help a friend draft their resume or cover letter. How about writing hand-written notes for all those you love most, in words that will mean the most? After all, only you can do it best!

Credit: Love Paper Crafts, lovepapercrafts.com/handmade-stationery-set-tutorial
Credit: Love Paper Crafts, lovepapercrafts.com/handmade-stationery-set-tutorial

Are you baker?

Give the gift of baked magic

Holidays equal Food and lots of it. If you are “Annapurna” – the goddess / god of food this holiday season, cook with all your heart. Share baked good with people you love, with that homeless guy who smiles at you everyday, or with everyone in your book club. It’s always best to use superior ingredients when cooking for others – it’s just the way we’d like to be treated ourselves.

Are you a fitness nut?

Give time training friends aspiring to be fit like you

For all the runners out there, here’s a humble request – help your reluctant runner friends form the habit to run. Recent Iowa State University study, says that even 7 mins of running can cut the risk of dying from heart disease in half. There are ways to make the induction process fun – help your friends buy fun running gear, but most importantly coach and help your friends as they transition into a regimen. Same goes for all our amazing Cross-fit loving, yoga loving, Pilates loving buddies!

Are you a reader?

Read books to the elderly or children

Volunteer your time at the old age homes and read to your friends this holiday. Visit the children’s hospital or an inner city school to see if you can volunteer to read there. Keep in mind however, you may be need a background check to prove you have best intentions at heart. 

How about donating those unused, unread, pile of books hidden away? Donate them to the library or circulate them among your friends.

Credit: Chris - flic.kr/p/7PozJp
Credit: Chris – flic.kr/p/7PozJp

Are you an aspiring yogi?

Start the yogi movement today!

I personally am inspired by the gorgeous Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen. Daily, she posts exceptional and enlightening posts with her smiling face in all kinds of “jalebi” (twisted) yoga poses. Her infectious energy has pushed me to pick yoga back up and meditate daily. If you’re already on your path to self-discovery as a yogi – spread that gift! Hold yoga and meditation sessions to get your friends in on the movement. After all not everyone can afford those expensive Bikram Yoga or Transcendental Meditation sessions!

Credit: Canon in 2D - flic.kr/p/756BKj
Credit: Canon in 2D – flic.kr/p/756BKj

These are merely ideas that we are slowly working on this holiday season. If you’ve got ideas, do email us at vidamenjo@gmail.com or contact us via our facebook page – facebook.com/vidamanejo. We are eager to add to our list!

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One thought on “This Christmas Give the Gift of “Nothing”

  1. Ok …I am sure this cannot be written by either M or DK..this has to be from either from J or A..or maybe DU..the geniuses from Harvard/ Cornell….I disliked them for whatever happened…but their efforts have left me very very emotional…and even in my rage I know they are outstanding researchers…and your organisation is what is today because of them….and no I am not drunk…I am just so proud and happy …that I have worked with them…I can do neither of these as you suggested in the blog..I can write and read but nobody wants these things here as you know very well…..so I cannot give anything you suggest…but I wish you all the best…I am happy and I want y’all to be happy…and continue your good work and help others in need….and I meant everything I wrote…my Christmas gift will go to IPA…as the stock market run continues to surprise me and I hold all the aces…believe me I am a very good stock analyst so I cannot go wrong there…if I need your help..I will seek it…chill guys..enjoy your vacations .your research…your presentations….have a good conference with RBI…take care…P.S., I like you – I mean I like the actual writers of this blog

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