Monday, December 05, 2005

Holiday shopping ideas...

This article came to me in a newsletter I am subscribed to:
* Self Improvement and Personal Growth Weekly Newsletter * Issue # 378
Week of December 6-7, 2005
Publisher: David Riklan -

*** Article: The Most Important Gifts of All – By Pauline Wallin, Ph.D.

In This Season of Gift-Buying, Don't Ignore The Most Important Gifts of

In this season of holiday gift buying, advertisers bombard us with
messages, some of them contradictory. One ad tells us that the best way
for men to show love is to spend three months' salary on a piece of
diamond jewelry. On the other hand, MasterCard commercials remind us that
there are some things ("Priceless" moments) that monëy can't buy.
"Oh, that's a sweet sentiment," you might say, "but can it really
substitute for the latest video game or hot toy?" Very few children raised
in this materialistic culture would say, "Gee mom, thanks for making my
favorite meal. What a great Christmas gift!"
Yet 20 years from nöw, these same children probably won't remember the
items they got for the current Christmas. They will, however, recall the
special games that their family played together, the time that their older
brother took them to a movie, or the way their parents tucked them in at
These are the little moments, which over time, have a huge impact.
Unfortunately people tend to take them for granted. With so much emphasis
on holiday shopping, and on buying the perfect gift, we can losë sight of
the importance of the less flashy, but "priceless" gifts: gifts such as
thoughtfulness and gratitude that we can give to one another all year
round. A diamond may be forever, but its value is nothing compared to a
lïfetime of moments that monëy can't buy.
I'm not suggesting that you forego the presents this holiday season, but
don't worry so much about how "perfect" they are. Go ahead and buy some
gifts, but more importantly, resolve to focus your energy on helping
others feel valued and appreciated. They will remember your acts of
thoughtfulness and compassion long after the material gifts are gone.
Hëre are some examples of small gestures that can help people around you
feel valued:
1. Show your appreciation with a thank-you, a smile or a hug (or all
three). It takes just a moment, but it can make a person's day.
2. Practice a random act of kindness every day. Make this your "gift" to a
stranger. For example, let someone in front of you in line. Hold a door
open for someone. Smile and greet people you pass at work. These acts take
only a few seconds or less, yet they create a mood that can last for
3. Call up someone you haven't spoken to in a while, just to catch up on
how they are. You've probably been meaning to do this for a long time. Nöw
is a good time.
4. If you have children, give one child at a time your full attention for
an afternoon: Go for a walk; go to the library; or just sit and read or
draw together. The activity itself isn't as important as sharing time and
interacting together. Going to a movie or watching a video doesn't count.
5. Write a note of appreciation to someone who is important to you. Don't
be surprised if that person keeps the note for years to come.
6. Think of the way you'd like to be remembered by those around you, and
give of yourself accordingly throughout the year. The added benefit for
you is that you'll be in a more positive frame of mind overall.

About the Author:
Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in Camp Hill, PA, and author of
"Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating Behavior"
(Beyond Words Publishing, 2001).

Visit for more information, and subscribe to her
frëe, monthly Inner Brat Newsletter.

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