Giving TIME is the best holiday gift
By Sam Johnson
The pressure is on!
Christmas is only a week away, and you can bet people will be spending more hours shopping this final week than they will spend on almost any other activity.
The streets downtown will bustle with shoppers flying frantically from store to store in search of last minute presents for those o the ir gift list -- family, friends, co-workers.
Shopping malls will burst at the seams with panic-stricken people trying to find special items on the “wish lists” given them by their children or spouse, only to find out that many of the items have been sold out, on back order, or not available at local stores.
In the process, people will rush about for hours looking for parking places, searching for substitute presents to buy, and waiting in long check-out lines.
They will shop, shop, shop, until they drop, exhausted and overwhelmed, all for the sake of fulfilling that “giving spirit” of Christmas.
Christmas is indeed a “giving time” of year, but it seems that somewhere along the way the true spirit of giving that should that should characterize the holiday season -- giving of one’s self, sharing from within -- has all to often been replaced by the purely commercial spirit of giving -- buying presents.
In our TV world of hype, gadgets, and gimmickry, “giving” a gift has come to mean “buying” a gift.
Bit doesn’t have to be that way.
An excellent way to revive the true spirit of giving is to give a gift worth more than money; a gift more valuable than the latest toy, game, kitchen gadget, or electronic wonder.
And in today’s fast-paced society, that most precious gift, is the gift of TIME -- YOUR time.
Here is a list of gift ideas that will cost you nothing but time, yet may be the most precious gifts you can give. Mix and match them in anyway you see fit!
“Ten Great Christmas Gift Ideas NOT Advertised on TV”
1). Give your children/spouse a full day of your time, uninterrupted.
2). Give your parents the words “I Love You.” 3). Give an ear to someone in need of a listener.
4). Give a hand to someone less strong.
5). Give an old friend an unexpected visit or letter.
6). Give a former neighbor a telephone call wishing them Happy Holidays.
7). Give more gifts that you have made and fewer that money has bought.
8). Give some money anonymously to someone in need.
9). Give time to reflect on the year with your family, count blessings, give thanks.
10). Give time to help others.
Volunteerism is one way to give some of that precious time to others, to share a bit of yourself.
More and more, community organizations and social services are in need of volunteers to do a variety of things.
No experience is necessary, all that is required is a little bit of time.
Projects you might get involved in range from delivering food baskets to families in need, to singing carols at nursing homes, hosp itals, or senior centers. You might devote an hour or two to assist with special telephone “hotlines,” tutoring or coaching young people, or providing companionship for the elderly or disabled, maybe driving these people to doctor’s appointments or shopping, or assisting them in writing Christmas cards or letters. And of course the Salvation Army welcomes volunteers to “ring in the Christmas spirit.”
There is no shortage of things to do, just a shortage of people and time to do them.
Many of these things you can do by yourself or with friends, or better yet, with your whole family! What a wonderful way to share the spirit of giving with your children.
If you need help locating a charity or organization in need of volunteer assistance, check with local churches, social welfare offices such as the Human Resource Center, fraternal organizations, clubs and such.
Besides the personal satisfaction and fulfillment you will receive from your volunteer efforts, giving a gift of your time will go a long way toward spreading the true spirit of the holiday to others as well.
Christmas is indeed “the giving time of year,” and the most precious gift you an give anyone, is some of your time.
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