As a prolific amazon shopper, I rarely go into shops these days. A couple of days ago, I went to the art store to get a secret santa gift. It was quite astounding how many toys and other art supplies they had on sale. With so many choices, one has no idea where to start, so I thought it was time to simplify the process and give some ideas on the best gifts to give.
1) GIve Experiences. We all have too much stuff and rather than giving a child yet another toy that will barely be used, consider giving them an experience. Movie Tickets, Museum Tickets. Go for the Christmas Train ride. And you don't even need to spend money. Give them your time and do something together. Make an advent calendar, put together a robot, make ornaments. Anything! Just spend time together making happy memories.
2) Give them a Hobby. This is especially true of adults! If you are wondering what to give a friend this year, ask yourself if they have a hobby they are passionate about. (Taking care of their own child is an honorable past time, but it is not a hobby). If you can't think of one, get them a hobby. This could be cooking, quilting, art classes or even make your own wine classes. Hobbies are basically the best mindfulness teachnique I know.
3) Give them a Cause. I am serious. This holiday season, instead of spending on presents and cleaning your house for the dinner, do something different. Sell everything you don't need for a cause. Have a Winter Clearout sale. Take a friend and family to a Soup Kitchen, start a Gift Wrapping Service. Make meals for the elderly.
4) Give them Relaxation! If you know a mum with 3 rumbunctious kids, the best present is to agree to take care of them for an afternoon. Every mother in this position understands how great a present that is! It would make her day and she would remember it for so long.
5) Skip the presents you buy and give the presents you make! Good at making cookies? Make those the present. What about that crazy delicious boozy christmas pudding? Make that the feature. It will be remembered a lot longer and eaten up so fast that you don't have to worry about cluttering anyone's home. And who knows, they may even return the favour next year!
The Holiday Season is not a time to get into debt for presents. It is a time to sit back and relax and do things your way.