It’s that time of year again — jingle bells, glittering lights and tinsel twinkles beckoning to you with a cunning smile and whispering in your ear ever so softly, “Come on, now! Buy … buy … buy! You know you want to!”
You’re doing your best not to get caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy, but everyone around you is queueing up. What’s worse, with Facebook forums and Whatsapp groups your friends are constantly inundating you with their shopping progress, info about the best deals in town and secret codes for online discounts.
You’re all fueled up and your head is spinning, as your nearests and dearests (and those who are neither) pop into your brain and somehow make their way onto your gift-list. The twist in the tale is that if you don’t get them a gift, they may not even notice, but you’ll never forgive yourself — never-ever — and, you will probably end up doing the same thing again next year.
You’ve tried to curb your shopping impulses by employing the smart spending tips posted by expert shoppers — from leaving your credit cards at home to sneaking in and out of the mall through the back door to avoid the enticing displays. But in vain! You have no will-power.
It’s like dieting. Your appetite is never satisfied and you end up buying more than you intended and feeling horribly guilty about it. What’s worse — once the holidays are over and all the wrappings have been discarded into the recycling bin, the leftovers have gone stale, your bank account is depleted, the exhilaration of tearing open neatly wrapped packages is long gone, the presents you chose with such love and devotion have been chucked into a bottom drawer and the gifts you never got around to exchanging are collecting dust on a shelf in the garage — you don’t just feel like you’re drowning in despair and disappointment, you are!
STOP right here! NOW!
There’s a better way to go about holiday giving. It’s even better than the Four-Gift Rule — something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read — because you get to keep your sanity and at the end of the day your family comes out richer.
Create — recycle — make a date and donate.
Here’s how it works –
DIY gifts — particularly those made with love and a personal touch — are special for both the giver and the recipient. Most DIY gifts are neither expensive nor time consuming and can be heaps of fun, when made together. Just Google it! There are myriad sites and YouTubes that offer ideas and simple guidelines. AND, what makes these gifts a super win for you and your kids, is the time you spend together creating them.
There’s much truth to the saying One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. We all have things we no longer use or once loved and are now bored with that others may enjoy — even our kids. You can choose something to recycle as a gift, but you can have far more fun by allowing your kids to “rummage” through your stuff and choose their gifts. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your new I-phone, but you’d be surprised what your kids’ second choices may be.
Make a Date
The thing kids want more than anything from their parents is their time and undivided attention. It’s that simple. The best part of this gift is that you get to have fun too. Make your dates special by making them one-on-one and by allowing each child to choose where they want to go and what they want to do.
If you want to jazz it up a bit to make it a “premium” gift, give your kids a number of one-on-one’s to last them the entire year. Make each date different, for example: an outdoor date, a restaurant date, a cooking date, or a movie night date.
The same goes for the truly important people in our lives, many of whom we sometimes take for granted and never get around to spending quality time with.
There are always people, who are more in need than we are, and there is no end to worthy charities to choose from. Because it’s the thought that counts, most people are happy, when their gift is about helping others. Once again, you can make this gift super-special by involving your kids and letting them choose, where they want to donate.
Donating doesn’t always have to be about money. You can also go through your kids’ toys and library and make a collection of books and toys to donate to the children’s hospital, a daycare center or shelter.
The beauty of this Four-Gift Rule is that once you get started there is no end to the possibilities, and you will never want to go back to you old holiday shopping ways.
It’s time to take control of your life and make decisions that work for you.
It’s Time 2 Lead!
It’s time to THRIVE!
Originally published at medium.com