Last week I wrote about tangible things we can do to be ready for the holidays. This week, I want to think about the gifts we can give that are free or a modest expense.
How can you help someone else with your time or perhaps, share your talents? Can you give, volunteer, or assist in your family, your church, your organizations, or your community?
Here are some specific possibilities:
• Call people. Yes, the telephone can still be a powerful conduit of caring. Especially to our loved ones and elders who live afar, frequent calls can brighten their day.
• Visit the Wing or similar folks who are suffering from old age issues or health concerns. My mom used to make regular visits to the “shut-ins” meaning people stuck at home. With homemade rolls or cookies in hand, she would brighten their days and admire their violets.
• Assist with home maintenance or projects. Every age group can benefit from offers to help with a repair, lift a heavy object, and lend tools or expertise.
• Offering to take someone on a hike or outing equals time together that is also a special gift.
• Transport a friend to a medical appointment or just sit with them during a scary treatment. We rural folks often must travel out of town for specialized care and the driving alone can be stressful enough never mind worrying about the test or treatment outcomes.
• Help a senior with home tasks that may be challenging such as getting the Christmas tree from the attic or addressing Christmas cards.
• Share your talents. Can you sing in the holiday community choir? Do you knit, sing, play an instrument, create art or have a similar skill to give? I bet you do so don’t hold back.
• Have extra food? Sometimes we buy more than we need or cook more than our family can consume. So, give to your friends or our local food banks.
• Think simple. Some of our best friend times were making birdfeeders from pinecones, peanut butter, and bird seed. Yes, it is a mess, but easy and fun. Plus, the birds loved it.
• Host a small gathering. Everything doesn’t need to be a five-star production. Show your love with the gift of cooking and entertaining.
• Volunteer or donate to your favorite charity. Every dollar and donated hour of work counts.
In Meeker, you can support the Giving Tree that provides gifts to kids and food to families.
Giving and caring can take many forms. Spending less money, focusing on caring instead of material gifts, and thinking creatively can make us, the givers and the recipients, all happy.
Finally, self-care is important too so take a break, brew some tea, make time for your hobbies and enjoy the holiday spirit.
By KAYE SULLIVAN – Special to the Herald Times