Giving gifts that are more than just stuff
WAYNE COUNTY — It’s no secret the United States is drowning in stuff. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or just for fun, what do we do? Buy more stuff to celebrate.
While presents are wonderful, sometimes material gifts can become exhausting. If you’re tired of all the stuff this holiday season, fear not. Gifts can be more than simply material items. Check out these gift suggestions from Habitat for Humanity to give that are about more than just stuff.
Studies have consistently shown giving experiences rather than material items can be much more fulfilling for the receiver. Experiences like a trip, an adventure or even just going to see a movie together can leave the receiver with something to cherish forever as a memory, rather than something which may fade and fall apart.
For children especially, giving experiences as gifts and sharing family time together has been proven to increase bonding within the family. This leads to fewer behavioral problems, a stronger sense of identity and higher academic success. This holiday season, mix up the usual gift giving by going ice skating together, taking a trip or checking out some local attractions.
Sometimes, giving back to those in need can mean more than giving unneeded stuff. This holiday season, try giving gifts to others in the names of those you love close to you. Find a worthwhile cause which means a lot to the person you love, and consider making a donation in their name. Not only will it mean the world to your friend or family, but it will mean everything to a struggling neighbor in your community.
The best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Material gifts can fall apart, but delicious food will always be worthwhile when it’s devoured. Try baking a homemade dessert, tasty recipe or hot cocoa mix for the chilly winter months. Not only will the receiver love the tasty treat, but it will show you care through your extra effort to make something delicious, rather than just spending money.
Nothing is more valuable than time, and this holiday season, you can show just that by giving your time to those who need it most. Whether it’s reading more books with your children, volunteering at a local shelter or sharing a long talk with your elderly relatives, take time to give time. Not only will those receiving your time and attention feel valued, but you too will have a more joyful and love-filled holiday season.
If you decide to give material gifts this holiday season, consider adding an extra special touch by making them homemade. Sew a sweater, write a heartfelt poem or draw a picture for those you love most. Giving something handmade shows you took the time to carefully create it yourself, and will mean much more in the long run to those who receive it.
This giving season, give more than just stuff to your friends and family. Give the gifts of experiences, charitable giving, delicious food, your time or something handmade. In the end, no one will look back and be thankful for all the stuff they got. They’re going to look back and be thankful for the meaningful time and cherished moments spent with loved ones.
— From Habitat for Humanity Goldsboro-Wayne