Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Out of the Box Holiday Gifts: Tips for Healthy Holiday Giving

This year, why not think out of the box and give your friends and family something that will last much longer? These ideas for healthy outside of the box gifts can give your loved ones the best present of all, a new start in a better, healthier direction.

Many people associate gift giving with a present under the Christmas tree. This expectation can be deeply embedded and so to prevent some unmet expectations, let your family know that this year, you will be giving "out of the box" gifts. You still want to surprise them with something heart felt and touching, but it won't come in a box. Let everyone know this ahead of time. It will arouse their curiosity.

Next comes putting together your gifts. Make up a list of your closest family and friends. These very close family and friends will be in the personal category, to whom you want to give very special gifts. Your other friends, coworkers, and community acquaintances don't expect a gift, but give them one anyway- a smile in the hall, a hearty "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays", or perhaps an invitation to go to the gym to workout together. These don't come in a box, but they are meaningful gifts nonetheless.

Now, focus on your closest relationships. Think of and write down the unique out of the box gift you are going to give everyone on that list. These type of gifts typically involve doing something for or something with a person.

To make these out of the box gifts more special and meaningful, do some of actions before exchanging gifts. For example, perhaps it would mean a lot to your spouse if you quit smoking this year. What a healthy gift this would be! If you start a couple of weeks ahead of time, prior to officially announcing the gift, then they will know you are really serious about this health gift. Another example would be to give the gift of more companionship. You could offer to take your spouse out to a small cafe or tavern once a week, to spend some dedicated, quite time together away from the hectic flow of work or home life with a large family. Start doing this before Christmas, and it will make the gift more sincere and meaningful. Maybe you want to give your sister the gift of a newly redesigned website. Work on it ahead of time a bit, and then maybe work on it together with her just after Christmas.

Making out of the box gifts this way, giving them before announcing them, makes it very clear very quickly that the list of people you wish to exchange gifts with should be relatively small and manageable. It takes much more time, energy, and commitment to give an out of the box healthy gift.

Gifts that are out-of-the-box remind us about the true meaning of Christmas and the winter holidays. It is a time to reconnect with family, friends, and the community. It is a time to strengthen your connection with the divine. Giving healthy out of the box holiday gifts will make it even more meaningful for you.