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Monfredo: Ideas for the Holiday - Lots of Gifts of Love

Saturday, December 01, 2018


It’s December and it’s a month of hustle, bustle and for some a difficult time of the year.  Individuals with very little resources find this time of the year very stressful.  However, with every dark cloud there is a silver lining.  We need to overcome our feeling that the amount we spend correlates with our love and our relationship to each other.  Instead of being too materialistic, let’s be creative.  Consider giving your love and time this holiday season!  Why not give your family and friends a gift that gives back?

Let’s start by giving your love to your family so wrap your arms around them and don’t let go for they are the real reason for the season.  Try making homemade cards that express your feelings of love and respect for them.   What you write and express in the card means more than a store-bought card.  Put your heart and soul into your writing of the card.

How about a holiday gathering at your house?   Inviting people into your home is a gift in itself for there may be lonely neighbors or friends, relatives and children who would love to come over and enjoy a holiday get-together.  Give them a real big hug and let them know that you care about them. Do you know of a friend who doesn’t have family if so invite that person over. Having everyone bring their favorite dessert could be a nice way of enjoying the time with holiday music and games.  How about a game of trivia made up of holiday questions?

During December gather the family members for a meeting and consider volunteering for one day or evening at the senior center, animal shelter, food pantries, or at one of the social agencies.   You could even volunteer to walk a neighbor’s dog or shovel a senior citizen’s walkway.  A coupon gift could be given to the senior with the following statement – “Good for shoveling during the next snow storm.”  All of these activities help make you and the recipients feel special inside.  Remember, we all can help make the world a better place by practicing random acts of kindness. During December consider doing one good deed a day and remember that compliments count as a good deed, too!

As for the children, think about the good times you’ve spent with your children. The gift that counts the most is TIME!  Try spending the time with your children instead of spending time looking for that perfect present.  It is the quality of time together that is our real gift to each other.  The visits, the meals, and the table games that we spend with one another are what counts.

Have you had an argument or a disagreement with a friend or relative?  Put aside your hard feelings and reconnect with someone with whom you still hold a grudge.  Call them up or send them a friendly note as part of the healing process.

A creative idea to save money during the holiday season is to send out e-cards. If you have a huge list of people to send out cards that can be expensive instead make cards via the internet or try JibJab holiday e-cards or a  Jacquie Lawson® Ecard! Another money saving idea is making homemade goodies for holiday gifts?  Those who are creative could also make potholders and other crafts during holiday time.    These are gifts that come from the heart and not the store.  The important thing is to celebrate with your heart and not with your pocketbook.

Let’s also consider a gift that will enhance a child’s love for learning … a book. They can be purchased at a used bookstore. Research tells us that many children do not read like they should and do not have the book selections in their own homes to read or in some cases have no books to read.  In addition, game systems and other opportunities are given many times before a book.

Choose a book that gives a message of hope, inspiration, and encouragement. Children often times will read a book just because an adult, someone who they look up to gave it to them. Giving a gift of love like a book makes a child feel as if you care. They will open that book and read every word just because you gave it to them. Children may throw a lot of things away in their life, but books are kept and are cherished. They are passed down to the next generation with a story behind it.  However, any book would be a special gift.

Final idea… A must for the holiday is to practice smiling.  A smile can be contagious - smile at the store clerks and the other shoppers in line.  When you encounter grumpy people, resist being pulled into their negativity and try to spread your positive attitude. Make a game of it and see how many smiles you can get each day.  Keep people guessing for many will be wondering why you’re always smiling!

Remember the holidays are a time to enjoy the family and friends and remind them how much you care.  So, give the gift of love this season.  Remember, sometimes the simplest gifts are the ones to be cherished for a lifetime. Readers, I’d love to hear from you as to what gifts of love you passed out this holiday season.  E-mail me at [email protected]  and share your thoughts – Happy Holiday to All!


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