The other day, scrolling mindlessly through a social media feed, a notice pops up – “Only 100 days until Christmas!” WHAT?!? Didn’t we just have Christmas a couple of months ago? I love Christmas but I’m really not ready to switch gears from summer fun to hanging stockings.
This 100 days reminder message wasn’t the only visual bombardment of the coming holiday season. Some retail stores are also shifting their merchandise. Costco
probably has two aisles already dedicated to Christmas retail. For the last several years, I’ve been on a quest to somehow simplify the chaos and tone down the spending on useless “stuff” that is forgotten a month after it’s opened. Afterall, do you remember what you received or gifted for Christmas gifts last year? Two years ago? Five?
One gift I do remember giving was to my Mom. It was two years ago and it was a digital watercolor of her dogs. She was really touched by the gift. It had meaning. It wasn’t just something I picked up in a panic. Truly, most of my gifts are not very thoughtful. I try, but then the pressure of the holiday gets to me and I grab for something, anything really. Parents and grandparents are particularly hard to shop for especially as they age. Many of them have all of the “stuff” they need and are actually looking to downsize. Or, if it’s really something they want, they simply go out and buy it. No pining away for months like I used to do over the JCPenney Christmas catalog.
Of course one thing that never seems to go out of style is time spent. Time is one of our most precious commodities. Spending time with a loved one and making memories is incomparable. Preserving and sharing those memories is priceless.
So here are a few gift ideas for you (and for me) as we face another holiday shopping season:
Lunch dates. Pick a day each month and plan (no excuses!) to take your family member out to lunch.
Is there a skill your friend or family member would like to learn like photography or knitting? Sign both of you up for a class and experience this together.
If your family member lives in another state, commit to writing them a letter each month.
Preserve their stories and capture their wisdom. You can do this yourself or you can purchase a Remembered Well audio history package.
All of these options seem sort of like cheating because they are not only a gift for the recipient but a gift for you as well. It’s win-win! If
you end up doing any one of these, you will be able to look back a year from now (or five or ten) and remember this gift and these experiences. And, even better…so will the recipient.
Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas! (Too soon?)