With the holiday season now in full swing, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the stress of getting everything on our “list” crossed off, preparing for parties and events, and rushing around to buy gifts. And, with money tight for some this year, there’s added stress for many of us as we think about what to get for our family members, friends, co-workers, and others.
Instead of just giving “stuff” for the holidays, what if we gave the people in our life the best gift of all; our appreciation? Let the people around you know why you appreciate them. What do you value about your best friend? What is it about your kids that you really appreciate? What do you love most about your spouse? How does your co-worker or your boss make your job easier and more fun.
This year, our holiday gifts can be expressions of true appreciation which will have real impact on our relationships and make our holiday season one to remember. As we know, greater appreciation leads to improved communication, less stress, and more overall fulfillment.
And, with things the way they are financially for many people these days, taking time to appreciate others and life is so important this year.
Here are three simple suggestions to make your holiday gifts and your holiday season special:
- In addition to (or instead of) giving gifts, take time to write heartfelt thank you cards. Write cards letting the people around you know what you appreciate about them and how they have impacted your life in a positive way.
- Ask people what they really want. Giving something specific that someone really wants will have them feel appreciated and valued. It doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it’s personal to them. And, if you ask them directly you may find out that what they really want is something simple that can’t be bought or doesn’t cost money.
- Give the gift of your time or service – Make a list of a few important people in your life and instead of buying them something, call and ask each them if there is some project they’ve been putting off or procrastinating that you might be able to help them with. Schedule time to come over to their house or support them specifically in getting that task or project accomplished.
Remember what most people want, more than anything else, is to know that they are loved, valued, and appreciated…that’s the best gift we can give to them – for the holidays and at any time of the year. Enjoy these next few weeks. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
How will you appreciate others during this holiday season?