When Stephanie Bates from militarytravelmama.com emailed me and said she wanted to write a piece for my blog I thought it would be a great way to introduce you to an inspiring woman with something to say. Stephanie shares some brilliant tips on how to give BIG this holiday season without spending BIG…something that has been laid on my heart this year for sure. Here are some ways I personally am doing the that:
- Slowing down: giving more time to myself and to my loved ones to be in the present moment without looking at my phone, computer or email.
- Limiting gifts to 3 gifts per child….we realized when our kids get tons and tons of gifts they don’t remember what they got and Christmas morning becomes more about opening presents then enjoying the actual gift. We’re beating that this year by limiting the number of gifts we give but increasing the quality of gifts.
- Give gifts that give life and can be enjoyed by all: like a family game, essential oils, personalized vitamins from Careof.com, education toys like a crate box from Kiwi Co. and experiences like a concert or trip someone fun!
- Find joy in the every day moments by giving out joy cards! Click here for a free download. #thegivejoyproject.
- Choose a service project: Last year we put care packages of blankets and cookies together and handed them out to the homeless in our town. It made us all smile and created a memory my son’s will never forget.
- Enrich your relationships: Call someone! Meet up for coffee, write a card and mail it to them.
The Six Best Gifts You Can Give Your Family This Christmas By Stephanie Bates
Give Big Without Spending Big
It is no secret that overspending on gifts at Christmas has become a core component of many developed nations. This can stress a lot of families out, but you shouldn’t let it get you down. The truth is, some of the best gifts you can possibly give your family will cost nothing at all. Following, six will be explored.
This may sound like a cliché, but according to Rick Warren and TinyBuddha.com, time is the best gift you can give anyone—and not just during Christmas. When you can get eastern and western spiritualists on the same page, that which aligns them is worth considering. The truth is, time is a finite resource no one seems to have. But at the same time, we all have time. The illusion of time loss has to do with where our minds are centered. When you carve out time in your life to spend with people, that really means a lot—it means they are one of your priorities. This is communicated directly and subconsciously. Especially if you can’t during other times in the year, ensure during Christmas you give the ones you love in your life ample portions of your precious time.
2. That Which You Have Made
Gifts that your children make you when very young will likely find their way to your personal collection of meaningful things. Gifts you give them that you yourself have made will hold equal weight as time and maturity reveal that which truly has value. Don’t be afraid to put yourself into a song, a poem, a picture, a craft, a piece of furniture, or some other project which holds meaning.
3. Practical Things
Look, what people want isn’t always what they need. Additionally, what they want can be really expensive. Sometimes you’ll serve your family better through providing practical things to them as they need. Nobody is excited about opening a pair of socks on Christmas day, but they really appreciate having warm feet when it gets below zero outside. If you can’t afford non-practical gifts, give practically and make a big to-do about it. If you’re spending time together, that’s the main thing anyway. Find a way to have fun, and any gift can be the right gift.
4. Peace, And Rest
Christmas is one of the few times in the year when almost everybody in America gets some time off to rest and reflect. Don’t be too busy during Christmas—unless that’s what’s right for your family. Generally, just hanging out, unwinding, and using your free time to recharge mental and spiritual batteries represent the best usages of time. Make it possible for your family to relax and even get to a point of boredom before the new year’s hassles come to remind them why they love the holidays.
5. Variety And Mental Reset
The gift of variety can act as a mental reset for the brain. If you’re in one part of the world all year, but go home for the holidays, this is almost like “touching base”. Touching base helps remind you why you’re running the rat race in the first place. If everyone is at home, then touching base may mean going somewhere foreign for a while to remind everyone why home is a place to be thankful. If you haven’t mixed things up in a while, that might be just the thing to do this Christmas.
You can’t cheat when it comes to love. If you love your family, you’ll give them your time, you’ll put yourself into your gifts, you’ll be practical, you’ll allow for restful peace, and the variety of these things will help them shrug off the negative impact of a long year, and start the next one refreshed. Love is an intangible quantity that can’t be ignored. Bring this to the table, and you’ll have a good Christmas even if there’s a war on at your back door. The Germans, French, and British did in WWI, when war was abridged for a day of soccer on Christmas.
The Best Christmas
You can’t always afford to give your family the gifts they would necessarily want; but remember that the best gifts aren’t always the ones you can buy. A family full of restful love and time spent together will have a better Christmas than a rich household full of people trying to avoid each other.
Written for chrissypowers.com by Stephanie Bates from Militarytravelmama.com.