It could be a sign of the times, but more and more people are searching for ways to celebrate the Holy Days of December without the tradition of expensive gift giving. This notion of expanding the meaning of Christmas beyond expensive gifts is not some secret ploy designed by Dr. Seuss’ Grinch or Charles Dickens’ Scrooge. Rather it is based on the simple philosophy that the true meaning of Christmas does not necessarily have to cost a lot of money. Some even argue that over emphasizing the importance of gift-giving during the Christmas season can place an unnecessary obligation on gift recipients, poorly prioritizes one’s financial resources, packs landfills with unneeded items, and even teaches children to value brands over benevolence.
Still, Christmas is a time for giving and doing good things for others. So is there a way to change the emphasis of this year’s Christmas from a shopping experience to one that involves more meaningful and symbolic gestures of love and joy? There is. This year, try some of these unwrapped versions of Christmas giving.
Touch a Special Interest.
Recognizing someone’s unique love for a hobby or passion can reach beyond the cash register, and touch the heart way more more deeply and purely than money. For example, if you know someone who is restoring an old car, mount and frame an old photo of the auto in pristine condition. Or if you know someone who collects coins, make a special box to hold the coin pieces. EBay is a treasure chest for finding inexpensive gifts that recognize the collector. The key is to show respect for someone’s interest through a thoughtful tolken or gesture.
Showcase a skill.
One of the most beautiful and simple gifts is to showcase a special skill. For example, if you a photographer, create an image or series of photos for someone. If you are a musician, perform a special Christmas concert during a family dinner. I could be an awesome gift for the entire family! If you are a weekend painter, try paining a scene that would resonate with a special person. Everyone has many talents, but often these talents are never shared. Christmas is one of the best times to showcase your special skill.
Everybody has a mentor or person who helped teach them an important skill or lesson. This Christmas, try to pay homage to these lessons by returning the favor. For example, do you have a sister who taught you to play baseball? Why not take her to a ball game; take your uncle, who nurtured your love of theater, to see a play. How about that brother who helped you build a website? Write a blog post or contributing piece for his website. The key is to recognize the kindness that other’s have bestowed upon you.
Heal the world.
There are countless ways to give back to the world while also giving to people you love. For example, donate to a special cause in someone else’s name, or buy a gift that supports charity. Some good places to explore:
Send a Holiday Card.
Nothing fancy here, and whether it is part-nostalgia, part-holiday magic, everyone loves a good Christmas card. The Christmas card is such a small gesture that will costs only a couple of bucks, but makes large impression (especially with real estate clients.) However if you are a real estate professional and are sending out cards, don’t make your card a business promotion in disguise. Choose a set of holiday cards with a comforting picture and a warm wish for health and happiness. Add your own message for a personal touch. Clients will smile when they receive your mailbox greeting.
Gift a Local Membership.
Another great idea for real estate professionals is to purchase a membership to somewhere fun in the community. This works well with real estate clients because it helps them become familiar with a new environment and also help them get-to-know their new community. A membership can also be a gift an entire family can enjoy.
Membership ideas include:
- Local zoo
- Local museum
- Free rounds of golf at a local country club
About Allison James Estates and Homes:
Founded in 2008, Allison James Estates and Homes (AJI) is ranked one of the top 20 real estate brokerage firms in the nation that uses a new business model based on cutting edge technology and remote agent representation. Every Allison James agent keeps 100 percent of their sales commission in exchange for a flat monthly fee. Headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, Allison James employs more than 1200 licensed real estate agents in 16 states. Since it founding, Allison James has experienced exponential year-over-year growth in both velocity and volume. In 2015, Allison James posted 9,600 completed real estate transactions valued at $2.8 billion.