#1 Sentimental Gifts
I lost my uncle nearly a decade ago. I looked up to him and marveled at his successful career and role as a father and grandfather. During his funeral, his 18-year-old granddaughter read from a diary filled with memories of her and him. These memories spanned her lifetime.
But it wasn't her diary. It was her grandfather's. He gave it to her as a graduation present.
From the day she was born until she graduated from high school, he wrote a brief note about every interaction he had with her in person.
Weeks later, he passed away.
These memories, every memory, will remain in her hands for the rest of her life.
You can use the same method today by creating an email address for a new family member you will not see as often as you would like, and sending the address brief notes and images of each interaction. Wait for the write time to share the email address full of all of the memories.
A thoughtful gift giver sees the world through the receiver's eyes. They consider how the gift will strengthen their bond and what it will mean to them. And it doesn't need to cost a penny.
#2 The Gift of Time
Experiences create more joy than material things, so what does this mean for holiday gifts? Skip the trinkets and discount sweaters and buy experiences.
It is often the shared experiences that hold the greatest emotional resonance. Create lasting memories with creative activities. Maybe it's a homemade scavenger hunt, a night of stargazing, or a DIY spa day. In these moments, the focus is on the shared experience, the laughter, and the bonding.
Although these gifts don't come with a price tag, their value is immeasurable. They show care, thoughtfulness, and an authentic connection with the recipient. The value of these experiences stands out in a world where possessions often take precedence.
In the end, the best gifts are not always things you can buy; they're the moments you can create and share with those you cherish.
There is no better gift than the gift of time for a busy spouse. Perhaps you take over a spouse's responsibility or outsource it (e.g. weekly cleaning service). Women tend to handle home management tasks disproportionately. Commit to doing what she hates most moving forward. We asked women what they hate doing most, and the tasks came flooding in.
Watch the documentary Fair Play or read the book Fair Play for a more permanent solution to better dividing household tasks.
Click here for a free Household Chore List.
Related: Review our Household Chores page.
#3 Write Meaningful Notes
Make three separate notes listing three things you love about your spouse. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, give the notes at different times. The more surprised they are when they receive it, the better.
The notes don't have to be written to your spouse. Consider people who have made a difference in your life who you have lost touch with. Skip the Christmas cards this year and write a heartfelt letter telling them why they are so special to you.
What do all of these priceless gifts share in common, other than not costing a penny? They will make you, the gift giver, happier.
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