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!
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!
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.
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!
These are merely ideas that we are slowly working on this holiday season. If you’ve got ideas, do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via our facebook page – facebook.com/vidamanejo. We are eager to add to our list!
- 5 Questions to Simplify Your Life During the Holidays
- Running just seven minutes a day ‘cuts risk of dying from heart disease’
- Recommended Book – Autobiography of a Yogi