Here it is mid-November, stores are well-stocked for Christmas, and seasonal ads are everywhere in the media. What does your Christmas shopping list look like? What will the list look like in another month?
Retailers would have us believe we need to spend, spend, spend to avoid comparisons to Ebenezer Scrooge. However, we can give a gift that costs nothing, but is priceless. Give the gift of time to family, friends and the community.
- Commit to doing things with family. As much as your kids will like a new game for the Wii, they will treasure the time you commit to their lives. Whether it’s showing up at the school play or heading out on a family picnic, you’re building memories that will last a lifetime.
- Devote a few hours per month to improving your community. Unless you live on a desert island, your community will have numerous volunteer opportunities. The arts, health, sports, social services and more all depend on volunteers to deliver programs. Your commitment to such organizations helps make your community a better place to live.
- Get together with friends regularly. The speed at which society moves can get in the way of spending quality time with friends. Make it a point to schedule time for friends: have a meal, go to a movie, do something together.
Don’t confuse free with no-cost. There is cost in making your time available to others. However, as well as bringing benefit to the recipient, you will notice significant improvements in your own well-being.