Sometimes the best gifts aren’t bought from a store… the ones from the heart mean much, much, much more…
While Christmas or holiday shopping is fun, and we all enjoy giving and receiving gifts, sometimes the real meaning of the holidays gets lost beneath all of the commercial mess… Holiday sales, hottest toys, Black Friday Shopping, Cyber Monday Madness… people rush to the stores and max out their credit cards buying the best gifts they can find for their friends and family. But no matter how many gifts I’ve been given in my life or have received from others that have come from a store, the ones that mean the most to me, and to others, are the ones that usually cost the least, or nothing at all. Most gifts from the heart are free of charge and they last the longest and have the biggest impact on the lives of both strangers and the ones we love.
Here’s our quick guide of heartfelt gifts that you’ll never need to break out a credit card for… In addition to all of your other holiday gift shopping, we hope that you take the time to give one or as many of these gifts as you can to your friends, family and neighbors as well this year. They won’t cost you a dime!
#1. A Compliment: Telling your loved ones just how wonderful they are is a great way to make this season special.
#2. A Smile: A smile can be a warming, flirty, charming or friendly gift that can be appreciated by and given to loved ones and strangers alike! Give a smile to every person you meet this month!
#3. A Written Card or Letter: Many of you do this already, when you send out your Christmas cards, but thats not what we’re talking about. Emails are so impersonal and while just sending a preprinted card with a holiday greeting is nice, the real gift is when you take it one step further and write something personal in a card or letter to the most important people in your life telling them how much you miss them and how special they are.
#4. A Donation: You won’t have to buy anything new! There are so many things in your own home you can donate, clothing, shoes, dry foods and canned goods, or even toys to those in need. So many people in this world have so little and so many of us have too much stuff we don’t need. Give the gift of donation to your local drive, charity or organization this holiday season.
#5. Volunteer: It doesn’t cost you money, only time. There are so many local charity drives and organizations that help collect goods and provide services and comfort for people in need. Join and volunteer your time and services to one of these organizations this winter and help out in any way that you can.
#6. Hug: Give out as many warm embraces as you can this winter. Hugs show you care, offer support and help to uplift the spirits of those who need it most.
#7. Kindness: A valuable gift that comes in so many ways. This special gift can be given in gestures like holding a door or letting someone else go first in line… by listening to others who need someone to talk to… by offering comfort and kind words to people who truly need it most. Give kindness to everyone you can as often as you can.
#8. A Nice Meal or Hot Drink: So many families often go hungry and do not have enough food. Many parents go hungry to make sure their children have enough to eat. If you know of any of these families, invite them over to share a home cooked meal for them. If they can’t come over, don’t hesitate to bring them some food or a hot meal that they can have for lunch or freeze for later use. Even bringing a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to anyone, (not just a person in need) can warm their insides and make them smile.
#9. Forgiveness: People fight throughout the year but the holidays are the time to mend fences and make amends if you haven’t already. Lower your pride, open your heart and offer forgiveness to your enemies or those who have wronged you. Let it go as the year ends and start the new year off fresh and on a new foot.
#10. Chores: The holidays can get very busy for families with traveling, shopping, wrapping presents, driving to holiday events, end of the year work deadlines… sometimes household chores can fall by the waste side. Make a big difference in the hearts of your family members by offering to help out around the house in any way possible before you’re asked!
#11. Gratitude: Showing and telling others how grateful you are for their hard work, commitment, and even for the fact that you have them in your life and that you appreciate all that they do for you is a gift that has endless meaning in the hearts of those who receive it. The gift of feeling appreciated is an unbelievable gift that brings out the best in everyone.
#12. A Memory: Whether you are helping your friend and family to make new ones, sharing tokens of old ones, or giving gifts of reminders of your most favorite moments such as photos and photo albums, memories are gifts that are both treasured and timeless in the hearts and minds of all who were apart of them.
#13. A Work of Art: Giving a gift that is artistic, or crafty, something you make yourself with your own two hands is truly giving a piece of your heart to that person. Instead of buying a gift, you can draw, paint, design or build a gift from scratch that they will enjoy one hundred times as much!
#14. Gift of Performance: If you have any special musical or theatrical or performance talents share them and give them as gifts to your family and friends. You can dance, sing, act, play an instrument, or even put on a magic show for family and friends. The gift of entertainment has been one enjoyed and dear to hearts for centuries.
#15. Poetry or Writing: Giving the gift of writing, whether it be a special poem, essay, or book in honor of or about someone you love is a truly special gift that comes from deep within your heart. Give this gift to a loved one on paper, or by publishing for all to see!
#16. Friendship: Life is not just about the great moments in it, but about having wonderful people with you to create, share and enjoy those moments with. Making new friends and being there for old friends is an endless gift the two of you will share for a lifetime. Reach out to new people and befriend them, and reconnect with old ones to show them you care.
#17. Commitment: We all make promises and commitments to one another but sometimes life just gets in the way and these promises fall by the waste side or get delayed. This holiday season make good on a very special promise you’ve made to a friend, a loved one or even yourself and follow it through to the end.
#18. Your Help: Sometimes people need help but do not always ask, or know how to ask for it. Other people struggle and don’t have anyone they can ask for help. Instead of giving a gift from a store, offer your help to someone instead in a small or big way. You can offer to help them move, repaint their house, watch their kids, or anything you can think of where your assistance to them provides much needed relieve. You’ll also get a very wonderful gift in return… gratitude!
#19. Your Time: Sometimes just being “present” in the lives of your family and loved ones is the best gift you can give. Often family lives far away from each other and getting together for the holidays can be a struggle, but do your best! Making time to spend time with your family and loved ones, especially during the holiday is better than any gift you can buy or send their way.
#20. Love: A very special gift that is reserved for those who mean the oat to you. Love the people in your lives the best you can, support them and give your heart to them and let your happiness include theirs. It’s truly the greatest gift you can give to anyone.