There comes a time when you realize your holiday wish list has transitioned into a holiday give list. You find that the things you long for the most are no longer for yourself. Instead of wishing for the next best piece of technology (that will become irrelevant all too quickly), you long for the things that will make important people in your life happy: safety, financial security, that new job, retirement, a well-deserved vacation, a rewarding relationship.
For many years, my give list was kept in a mental box. Always making its way into my thoughts and conversations, it was always present, but never documented.
The last several years, however, I’ve made a point of putting my thoughts to paper as journal entries. And it’s evolved from a seasonal list to one I work on year-round. Between wishes for friends, loved ones, strangers and humanity, there are 12 topics my mind seems to circle around when it comes to gift giving throughout the year:
Something that brings people together.
Gifts for time alone certainly have their place. But in recent years, it seems there’s become more of that and far less of time spent together. Make sure your annual “give list” has something that provides an opportunity for connection.
Something that makes us better.
A thoughtful book, an experience that changes our perspectives, and a helping hand through challenges have the ability to make us better people. Look for ways to help others find and become their best selves.
Something that relieves a common burden or stress.
Stress is in far too great supply. The demands of work and personal life seem to be getting more complicated and more intrusive. Something that helps relieve a simple complication or burden of stress can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Something that resolves a difference.
Finding common ground isn’t always easy. But it’s always worth it. Take the time to help resolve a difference between people you care about.
Something that brings joy to someone who needs it.
Don’t forget the simple pleasures that brighten someone’s face. A simple dinner, an extra evening alone, and a call from a loved one can make an incredible difference.
Something that makes someone feel understood.
Thoughtful gift-giving always has a place. It takes time to choose a gift or a way to spend time in a way that makes someone feel heard and understood. But it’s time that proves to be incredibly rewarding and meaningful.
There are a million things you may want to give other people. It’s a shame we can’t pull them all off in a single year, and an even bigger shame that many are out of our ability to perform. Seeking to help accomplish them anyways is always a worthwhile endeavor. But if you’ve found yourself looking to create a meaningful give list for 2017, these 6 places are all worthy of consideration.