Tuesday, 18 December 2018

The gift of giving... how to give something to someone who has everything!

It’s Christmas Time… be afraid. Be very afraid! Because in spite of our best intentions we’ll all undoubtedly end up buying something for somebody that they don’t really need or even want - obliging them by turn to do the same in this reciprocal, seasonal, merry-go-round of money.

If I’m honest, even my kids don’t really need anything. They’ve more toys than they can play with. But… who am I to stand in the way of Santa’s Sleigh? And anyway, there are the inevitable demands from friends and relations (that start in mid-October) to know ‘what they want for Christmas. Because it’s not long, you know!’

Having said that, the kids are easy. The folks we find really hard to buy for are usually our parents. And it seems pointless giving them money (only for them to give it us back in the form of presents for the kids or even us!). Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for gifts. And I love Christmas. But the season of giving so often morphs into the mania of materialism.

But with a little effort, it needn’t cost anything. Well, not in cash terms anyway. I’m talking of that most precious commodity, time. Give back, lend a helping hand (as it says here) and people are likely to be doubly grateful. They get something they want and need… and they don’t have to find a place to store it!

There are plenty of great ideas out there, like the one’s listed on this page. It can be as simple as offering to help out — which is, let’s face it, a great opportunity to give back a little of what most of our parents have been doing for us for years.

It needn’t be redecorating the house from top to bottom, either. Doing the shopping, walking the dog, or a spot of gardening could be worth a small fortune to them. If you want to up the ante, why not cook them a nice meal or create an photo book filled with memories? Ok, they’ll both involve a splash of cash but the outcome is something really special. Honestly, socks don’t even come close.

The world has enough stuff. The vast majority of us don’t need any more things. But what we could all of us use more of, all the time, is that most precious commodity time itself. We might not be able to stop the clocks or do a ‘Dr Who’ but we can so much so easily, for so many if we only think a little more creatively this Christmas.

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