Time, the Perfect Gift
The Most Precious Gift You Can Give
Mother's Day and Father's Day, birthday, Christmas, and other gift-giving days have us scratching our heads trying to decide on a meaningful gift for our loved one. But, it can be very easy if you realize your time is the most precious gift you can give a friend or family member, or even someone you do not know. It is that sacrifice of your self that is most meaningful. We are all so busy with our lives, rushing from one appointment to another that we overlook this obvious way of giving. It might seem costly, but that is what makes it so special. The gift of time is especially meaningful to those on your list who live alone. But, young mothers with small children also appreciate a helping hand, and even your grandkids can benefit from time spent with you, whether on a field trip or baking cookies in Grandma’s kitchen. Help mom and the kids both by committing to carrying the little ones to their piano lessons or pick them up from school. That time in the car on the way to and from can be fun and insightful.
Time is the Perfect Gift
There are many ways to give your time. Be creative and make it special. A note card with a promise in writing, and maybe a small token to symbolize how you plan to give of your time is easy and simple. If you like playing with your computer go a step further and make a gift certificate. Think of hobbies, music and art tastes, favorite foods, anything you would consider in traditional gift giving. Also, consider needs. If the widow on your list has a big yard perhaps a promise to mow in the summer or rake leaves in the fall would be a valuable gift of your time. Does a young mother need help with babysitting? How about a coupon for watching the kids once a month? Or once a week?
Do you have a friend or family member that enjoys playing board games or cards? Give them a new deck or board game with the promise made (and keep it) to come by regularly for a game. It can be weekly or monthly, or impromptu.
Give tickets to a special event and plan for the two of you to go together. This can be a concert, play, or a ballgame if that is what the recipient enjoys. It can be a free event because the time is the most important part of the gift. Does your community have free concerts-in-the-park during the summer? Give a calendar with those concert dates circled with a promise for the two of you to attend. Take your dad or grandfather fishing, or help him with a home project.
Dinner and a movie, or even a home movie, is another fun gift of time. In a big plastic bowl package some microwave popcorn, milk duds, sodas, and a DVD, along with a note that you want to watch the movie with them. Make and keep the date.
Folks who are passionate about their hobbies love to share their enthusiasm. A small gift with time attached can involve going with the person on your list to a cat, dog or horse show if that is their passion. Your gardener will love having you help plant a tree or new flowerbed. Give them a gift certificate from their favorite nursery and help them with the planting.
We all find we take for granted the special places right in our own cities or neighborhoods and this gift can be fun for the giver and receiver. Plan an excursion to a park, historic site, or out-of-the-way bistro for lunch.
Volunteering during the holidays may seem totally out of the question. You already have so much to do. But, even one hour or two a week can mean a lot, just because people are busy and local charity organizations are short of help. Clothing drives, food pantries, and many other opportunities to help are out there. Check the local newspaper or call social services to find out where help is needed. Your own church probably is doing something special during the holiday season. If you have children check with their school to see if they need help with a project.
Holidays too Hectic? Do it Later!
If the holidays are just too hectic for visiting friends wait until after the season to make good on your promises to drop by. A visit after the holidays are over and everything gets quiet again can lift the spirits of a friend or family member that lives alone. A cutting from your Christmas Cactus, a plate of goodies, a tin of fancy tea or flavored coffee is a nice little gift to bring along. But the main thing is that you took the time to visit.
Absolutely can’t fit in the time to go out or to visit? Then make a regular phone call to let a special person know you are thinking about them. Having that phone call to look forward to can mean a lot to someone living alone.
Your time is precious, share it with people you love.
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