Explore Life Coaching, Patti Phillips

Top 5 Gifts You Can Give at Christmas

It’s getting to be that time of the year when you have to tear through the stores to find the perfect “in” gift for Christmas. Doesn’t everyone need the newest fashion hat with built-in headphones, the most up-to-date Ipod, the new blender with multi-level blade technology, that new electronic Yahtzee game that saves you from the burden of rolling dice?  Well, if these gifts will make the people in your life happy and you can afford it (or put it on credit), then why not, you say? But wait a minute, didn’t you just do that a year ago; bought the trendiest and most sought after gifts of the season? What happened to those gifts? Are they simply replaceable with newer and better? Some gifts do seem to have a shelf life and others have the power to last a life a life time. Why not consider these gifts ideas that last more than just one season:

•    The gift of a hug

“A hug is the perfect gift; one size fits all and no one minds if you return it.”

For babies, a hug contributes positively to their physical growth and mental development. For kids, a hug is a symbol of security and love. Between adults, a hug allows for an exchange of caring and support without using any words. AND research indicates that for women in particular, hugging can decrease the chances of heart disease.

•    The gifts of kind words

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” (Mother Teresa)

In our current society, there is a great expectation to behave in certain ways and a tendency to judge people against a very high standard that almost no one can live up to. As a result, we often feel negative about ourselves and our lives. We can certainly offer kind words to others in an attempt to counter the over-abundance of negatively around us.

•    The gift of gratitude

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it” (William Arthur Ward)

We all know how good it feels when we receive appreciation and a heart felt thank-you. Sometimes we make assumptions that others  know we appreciate them so we don’t bother to say it out loud. But there are two huge benefits to sharing gratitude. The first is that it  reinforces the behavior in the receiver that you were thankful for. The second benefit is that it encourages the receiver to pay forward the gift of gratitude.

•    The gift of play

“Play energizes and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism.” (Stuart Brown)

As we become adults, it’s so much harder to play than it was when we were kids. Play has no rules, no expectations, and no judgment. This is a great contrast to our adult life. To truly offer a gift a play, lead by example. Do something that brings you joy and invite others to join you. Be sure to suspend judgment and be open to let whatever happens, happen.

•    The gift of time

In our hurried way of life, time has truly become a scarce commodity. Rarely do we find the time to sit down with the ones we love to find out what’s really going on for them and offer them a listening ear or a helping hand. As my parents have grown older, they have impressed upon me that the time I spend with them, listening and reminiscing is far more valuable to them than an expensive box of Bernard Callebaut chocolates (as delicious as they are!)

Long after that super gadget loses its appeal, these five power gifts will last forever.

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