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It is the season of giving again!
The holidays come with a lot of hustle and bustle. We head in and out of shopping malls, we go to plays, pageants, and concerts, and we make a ton of plans.
There is so much pressure on us to give and receive items, go to parties, and events and rush, rush rush.
But let’s also take a step back and think about some of the other giving we can do during this season.
It isn’t all about gifts, it is also about taking the time to give thanks for the people in our lives.
While we are so focused on giving tangible gifts to our loved ones and friends, what can we give them that will warm their heart year ‘round?
After all, the holiday season is supposed to be filled with joy, kindness, and love.
Too often we’re so busy rushing through it, we forget to take a look around and really see where we can give to others.
Often, just a few moments out of our day can make a huge difference for someone else and really put the meaning back into the holidays while also showing our children the importance of gifts beyond the presents.
Here are some ideas for a few intangible gifts you can give to the people around you this holiday season.
While many of us are out shopping and grabbing stuff to give as presents for the people in our lives, there are many out there who aren’t able to buy their next meal.
Or have no one to share the holiday’s with this year.
Be certain to make time during your holiday season to show compassion for the people in your life and the others around you.
This could be as simple as not talking about the latest gift you’ve purchased to the person you know is struggling financially.
It could mean giving to Toys for Tots so a family in need can still have a magical Christmas
Or making a donation to Feeding America so that a family struggling with hunger can have a meal.
It could be feeding the homeless at a local shelter or visiting a nursing home for a few hours.
So often these people are forgotten throughout the year, but the holidays can be especially hard.
Most of us understand empathy but it does take effort to really place ourselves in another’s shoes.
Effort that we often feel to busy or tired to attempt.
There are people who need you to look at them with eyes of empathy this season.
The holidays can be the loneliest time for many people.
I’m sure you know a few who would love to be included in festivities this year.
There are people who are lonely year ‘round, but especially while they are watching others around them gathering together.
Reach out to those folks, offer them a place within your circle.
Or take some time to remind them that they are not forgotten during this season.
A little kindness, thoughtfulness, and care this season goes a long way in bringing the spirit of the holidays to those around us.
There are so many people around us who need just a little extra help.
And the gift of servitude doesn’t cost us anything but a little time and thought.
How can we make someone else’s day easier?
There may be an elderly woman who struggles to bring her packages in.
Or a single mom who is trying to keep up with a heavy work schedule while managing her children.
It could be someone who just lost their spouse and will struggle to get through their first holiday season alone.
All of those people are in need of someone to let them know they aren’t alone and that someone cares.
So, maybe offer to help the single mom with a night of babysitting.
Invite the lonely spouse to your house for a meal.
Send a kid or two to help the elderly woman with her packages.
You’ll be glad you did.
One of the best things we can do is show gratitude.
Not only do we need to show gratitude for the objects we receive, and the things we already have, but we need to show gratitude for the people in our lives.
When is the last time you gave someone a hug and let them know how much you appreciate them?
This goes for our kids too.
So often we don’t tell them how proud we are of them or how loved they are.
We assume that our loved ones know these things but there’s no substitute for telling them!
There are so many people that help to make our daily lives go smoothly.
So many small kindnesses that we rarely acknowledge.
This season, take the time to show the people in your life just how grateful you are for their presence.
Truly, every gift we can give is important.
The physical gift is wonderful, but the things that make the holiday season so special aren’t things.
They’re the connections and kindnesses that we show to each other.
Take some time during your holiday this year to spread the joy and love that only the intangible gifts can bring.
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