Not so fast.
If you are on a hunt to match the perfect gift, for the perfect person (your mom, your wife, your husband, your kids, your friends, your neighbors…), the best place to start is with silence.
Whoah? What is this woo-woo-sh!t about? I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but as I gracefully age out of my twenties, I’m reflecting on all the gifts that have been given to me. What I actually remember is the small stuff, the inexpensive, thoughtful things that didn’t come with a gift receipt.
Silence + space to be thoughtful = warm, fuzzy idea
To give you an example of how this works, I’d like to share a quick story…
When I was a little girl, my mom started a family tradition of leaving little notes for us around the house…in our lunch boxes, on the bathroom mirror, and most memorably, in our luggage, right before we went on a trip (or moved away from home). They were like little tokens of love, to be discovered right when we needed them.
What I didn’t realize in all of this, was that the Wong girl tradition of “random note trails” had really become a part of me and how I communicate with Graham (my bf) before he heads off on business trips. Now, every time I receive a special note from him or my sisters, I not only think of them (and their cute little messages), but also my mom and how her thoughtful gift of TRADITION continues to make my day an amazing one.
Now that is warm and fuzzy!
Ok, so what do you do with that? And does that still mean…no Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping…because you really do enjoy the bargain hunting? Well, yes and no. None of what I am writing is supposed to DISCOURAGE you from doing whatever you do to prepare for the holidays. However it IS supposed to ENCOURAGE you to think thoughtfully this year. Here are a few healthy gifts of tradition to share with your friends and family:
GIVE AN OLD MAGAZINE: Find an old magazine issue that you love because of an inspirational story, a great recipe, or some tips that you found to be helpful. Bookmark it with a special note and give it to someone that needs some motivation too.
SCAVENGER HUNT: Create a gift of adventure by placing notes around the house that lead up to the big gift at the end. (I love hiding things in the washer or dryer.)
HAVE A PICNIC: Spread a blanket on the living room floor and enjoy an indoor holiday leftover picnic with friends, family, or heck even yourself and a book.
PREP A HEALTHY MEAL: Think of someone who’s busy and wants to eat healthy, but needs some motivation (or time). Prepare a healthy meal for them with little notes and directions for them to follow. This will mean THE WORLD to them on busy nights.
SEND SNAIL MAIL: Write a note in UNDER 10 WORDS and mail it to someone. Could be a person you see every day or once a year. If you’d like one in return, slip in an extra stamped envelope with a blank piece of paper. (Who doesn’t enjoy receiving mail?)
SHARE A SKILL: Show someone how to do something that they don’t know how to do. It could be drawing with your kids, teaching a friend how to cook a dish, or even showing your mom how to text message on her smartphone. Make a date with them.
DROP BY: Take 5 minutes from your day to stop by and say hello…at a colleague’s desk, a friend’s work, or even a neighbor’s house. It doesn’t have to be long, but it will be a special, unexpected gift of “I was thinking about you.”
TAKE A TIME OUT: And lastly, maybe the best gift you can give to someone else, is a gift of time for yourself. Would an extra hour of sleep, 30 minutes of walking, or an escape to a gym workout benefit the people around you too?
Consider a thoughtful gift to be a small way of leaving a little bit of you behind. If you find these tips to be helpful, OR if you have other ideas, head over to our Facebook Page and inspire us. We’d love to hear from you!