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Gifts of Time and Connection

The holidays bring with them a season of travel, meals with family and friends, shopping, more shopping, and even more shopping. Gifting has become part of the celebration and while the latest tech gadget is an exciting box to unwrap, no material gift can replace your presence for those you love. And to someone who loves you, your attention and presence is the one unique gift that no one else can offer. That’s where gifts of time can really ‘wow’.


Gifts of time and experiences are a uniting factor. The anticipation leading up to a trip, event, or experience even has the potential to provide happiness itself, making it the gift that truly keeps on giving: excitement in the anticipation, human connection during the experience, and happiness in the memories.


This year, why not mix it up and combine the store-bought gifts with a little bit of time shared as well? We’ve come up with a few ideas that incorporate gifts of time, and that are sure to yield plenty of love and memories this holiday season.


Local volunteer opportunities. Find out which causes are most important to your friends and family and offer to help them for a day. Your gift will not only make them feel great, but you’ll also be helping to make your community a better place.


Sit for a portrait. Whether you’re a painter, a photographer, or even just a novice, use this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved one creating something memorable. You can also hire these sessions out to local talents who can snap the photos for you.


Home improvement support for the weekend warrior. Helping a loved one with home repairs is always a wonderful option to fulfill a need for a friend or loved one. No home is without a need for a little improvement here or there. Whether it’s painting the house or planting some shrubs, offer up a few hours of your time to help them complete the task.


Host a movie night. Nothing brings people together like a good movie.  Put on an evening event for your loved ones, featuring all of their favorite films and snacks.


Take a community class. These classes can teach everything from how to play chess to how to cook authentic Italian food. Enroll you and your loved one in one of these fab courses and have some fun together learning something new.  Gifts of time can be educational, too!


Make a delicious homemade meal. Nothing says Holidays like combining food and company! Head to your local farmers market and stock up on your giftee’s favorite foods, and then whip up something yummy for them to enjoy. Another option is to stuff a basket full of those special items that they can prepare at their leisure. It’s a great way to show someone how much you care, and this idea also helps support local farms and businesses.


Offer to babysit. For the busy parent in your family, babysitting could possibly be the perfect gift. For parents, getting away from the kids happens just about once in a blue moon. Gift the couple a night of relaxation by offering to babysit for them. For many parents, a night away is better than anything you can buy in a store!


Give to charity. Discover what causes move the hearts of those you love. Share in the experience of learning about the nonprofits that those you are close to care about and provide a donation on their behalf.


Even if you’ve already purchased gifts for this year, consider adding some experiences as well or slowly transitioning to more experience-based gifts of time. This holiday season, let’s give ourselves, and those we love most, a gift that cannot be imitated, replicated, or replaced by anyone else in the world, and one that is more fulfilling than anything you could possibly find in a store. Let’s give our full authentic selves and be truly present in the lives of those we love.

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