We’re surrounded by gift guides and wish lists. Every retailer, blogger or website recommends what they think will make your friends, family or colleagues happy. I won’t lie. I love those lists. Some of them include pretty sweet stuff that no doubt people in your life would be psyched to receive. I scour them this time of year and wonder what will vary from site to site. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure we all know that the gifts that will truly make the peeps in your life happy aren’t those that we can buy at a store. The most meaningful gifts also aren’t those we need to shell out any cash for, most the time anyway. I created my very own “gift” guide for those less tangible ideas that can really pack a punch and make a difference in the existence of those you truly care about.
This is something that most of us tend to feel we have very limited amounts of available. We’ve got to hoard it all for ourselves in order to make time for Netflix and down time. I hear you. Life is busy. All the more reason to spend the time you’ve got with those that mean the world to you. The gift of time could be grabbing coffee with a stressed out friend. A walk in the park with your nephew. A phone call with someone who is looking to make a career change and wants your advice. Spending time and sharing yourself with someone means a heck of a lot more than an amazon gift card. Be willing to do it. It will be a gift for everyone involved.
Motivate & Push
Sometimes, people get stuck in a rut. They want to grow, change and evolve but spend most of their time talking about it instead of doing. Could your gift be giving that special person a little nudge? I’m not saying be aggressive and push them off of the cliff but hearing them out and reminding them how important it seems to them to switch careers, pick up a new hobby or try something new. Has your cousin been talking about taking a dance class forever? Why not join them for the first session or at the very least grab them a gift card to the studio? A gentle nudge that shows you listen, you care and ultimately want to help them.
Smarts & Skills
People value your insight. Weird, right? If you’ve got knowledge to share, by all means do it. Help a friend polish up their resume or practice for an interview. Amazing designer and have a friend just starting their own business? Give them some of your time and mad skills. The great part about this gift is that it’s pretty likely you’ll be thrilled if they reciprocate at some point in life. It’s a fun cycle of support.
Round of Applause & Hug
There are some things you’re not going to be able to do for people that you know they need. These are the times when you support them. In whatever way they need. If you’ve got a friend who’s a hug friend, bring it in. Someone who simply needs to hear about how awesome they are a little more regularly? Be the president of their fan club. It could be a very minor action on your part that speaks volumes and help to build the confidence of someone in your life.
Instead of stressing out about finding the right scarf or print, focus more on the intangible gifts you’re able to give regularly. Holiday season or not. Those are the gifts that people truly need and cherish.