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Give a meaningful gift this holiday—without shopping.

Categories: Blog | Posted: December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We’re now in the throes of the holiday shopping season. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, everyone is looking for the best deal on a great gift.

Why not skip the malls and avoid worrying whether the package arrives in time? Give a gift that has greater meaning and lasting value—without spending any time shopping for it.

Give cheer to someone who needs it.

Rather than swap gifts with someone, suggest you put that effort to better use. Get together and make the holidays special for someone who isn’t receiving the joy they deserve. Adopt a US Soldier and send a care package for someone who is serving overseas. Go to your local church to get the name of a family that might be looking at a bleak holiday without your help, or visit The Box Project to find a family in need. Help the food bank in your area by donating food items that will feed people in your community. Visit a nursing home to find out if any residents are without family this holiday. Then plan a visit and bring a gift—or spread the cheer a little wider and bring joy to a group of them, with holiday music, treats, and just the happiness that comes from giving a smile to a lonely person.

Make a charitable donation in someone’s honor.

For the person on your list who is an ardent supporter of a cause or charity, make a donation in their name. Help a local animal rescue group or homeless shelter. Give to the charity that supports medical research in a disease they care about deeply.

Give a new skill.

Treat someone to the opportunity to learn and grow. Give a gift certificate for a class—cooking, painting, woodwork, crafts, furniture repair, or even learning a language. Take the class together or include your babysitting services to a mom or dad while they enjoy the learning experience.

Use your own skill.

There’s nothing as special as a handmade gift. If you’re a good cook or baker, prepare something truly special for your gift recipient. Use your musical talent or knowledge to make a special CD. Paint a picture, frame a photo, knit a scarf, hat, or socks. Pinterest is filled with ideas and inspiration for creative gifts for an ability level.

Gift-giving should bring joy to the giver and the recipient. When you put more meaning into the gift, you give and get so much more out of it!

Kevin Oakley

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