Today I dug out Christmas cards, it is something I haven’t done in years and after finding a (large) stash of beautiful cards that I have had hiding in boxes, I decided that this year I would take the time to write to past clients and friends. Finding all these cards inspired me but so did the fact that the Real Estate market is sludgy, and money is tight so I need to get frugal and creative. Since I don’t really bake and hand made crafts and knitting sweaters aren’t my thing I decided that I will use my talents as a writer to give individuals a personal and well thought out message – my gift to some this year is time and me writing down what they mean in my life.
Chain letters and annual Christmas letters have been around forever but I have never participated in them. With the growing popularity of Facebook, it is unnecessary to receive the ‘I have three kids and two are in hockey…etc’ from your friends. We can simply go on line and find out most information about people we know and actually spend time communicating with those we care about. This year I wanted to let a list of people know what they mean to me, how they have impacted my life instead of a roll call of what is happening in mine. It will take some time to personalize every card but right now, time is my friend and I’m actually very excited to get started.
The essence of gift giving has been lost and we scramble and scrape to buy the perfect thing for people in our lives when what they probably want is that time spent with you. I asked my daughter to come and tree hunt and decorate this year as we weren’t together last season to decorate and she will be travelling this year. The gift that would mean the very most to me would be to spend an afternoon with her decorating the tree and drinking eggnog while we deck our halls. That would make my season perfect and it doesn’t have to cost a thing for her, a student who is also on a budget.
What if we asked and answered the ‘what do you want for Christmas’ question honestly? When someone asks, let’s not be afraid to answer that we would like to go for dinner with them or to hang out playing cards one evening. Can we say that we are overwhelmed and that their gift to us could be help with baking or the kids or even coming to walk the dog that you can’t seem to find time for? The gift of time is precious and for someone to stop and say ‘here I am’ could mean the world to someone at a very stressful time of year.
Stop in, visit, bring someone a cup of tea, write a hand written note – just try to spend the time. Phone your neighbour and see if they want to attend that service or hear that choir and offer to take them with you and your family. Gifts do not have to be expensive to be meaningful and lovely to those who are recipients and on that note, I had better get writing as my cards are waiting!
Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer.’