4 Gifts You Can Give Your Loved Ones This Holiday

By

4 Gifts You Can Give Your Loved Ones This Holiday
Give your family and friends gifts they will always remember and cherish.

This guest article from PsychCentral is written by Linda Sapadin, PhD.

Are you tired of trying to figure out what gifts might delight your loved ones? Are you turned off by the shopping frenzy that has become 'de rigueur' for the holiday season? Instead of buying what the marketers insist is the 'perfect gift,' try doing things differently this year.

 

Here are my top four suggestions.

  • The gift of listening. Take the time to listen to your loved ones. Be curious. Be there in mind and spirit. Listen to what is going on inside your loved one's mind. Avoid preaching. Avoid teaching. Thank your loved one for sharing. Communicate without judgment.
  • The gift of spending time together. So many activities, so little time. Much to take care of, much to do. Where is the time for a loving hug? A funny joke? A creative game? A musical hour? A leisurely dinner? Make the time to be together without an agenda. Trust that good things will emerge spontaneously.
  • The gift of embracing mistakes. Mistakes are no big deal! They are a fundamental part of learning. They are how we move forward. Demanding perfection makes people afraid to take chances. So this season, celebrate goofs instead. Pay homage to blunders. Appreciate how flubs (yours and others) enable us to grow.
  • The gift of a captivating family tradition. If you develop a tradition that dramatizes an important message, you and your children will remember that message forever.

Here's an example of one family’s tradition that was developed when the kids were very young. It teaches a great lesson on attitude without any preaching whatsoever.

Every holiday season, each member of the family wrote down (with help for the very young ones) a list of "I can'ts" such as: "I can't hit a baseball very far; I can't understand long division; I can't get the popular kids to like me." Even the parents made a list. Here's a sampling of Mom’s: "I can't get Jenny to stop whining; I can't save any money; I can't lose weight."

When the lists were completed, they were put in a shoebox. Then the whole family trooped out to the backyard where shovels awaited. They dug a great big hole and buried the box with a ceremony conducted by Dad. "Family, we are gathered here today to bury our can'ts. Though I can't has died, his brother and sister 'I can' and 'I will' are still alive. Let 'I can't' rest in peace and may we all welcome 'I can' and 'I will into our lives. Amen."

When the kids were young, they took the ceremony seriously. When they were older, they rolled their eyes, but did it to humor their parents. When they were teens, the ceremony disbanded. No matter; the tradition was established, and to this day evokes fond memories. For on those rare occasions when someone complains that 'I can't,' a family member will pipe up to remind the person that 'I can't' is dead. Time to get in touch with 'I can' and 'I will.'

So how about it? Are you going to give your loved ones any singular, sensational gifts this year? Yes, if you must, you can buy gifts from the mall. But consider making more meaningful gifts your top priority.

More on Effective Communication from YourTango:

This article was originally published at PsychCentral. Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

There's A Reason All Your Relationships Fail — Sorry, It's You

By

Have you had multiple partners, but the basic dynamic between you and them remains the same; which in short is this—you don't get what you want? Somehow you keep making the same mistake, either choosing the wrong person or looking for the wrong thing from the person you choose. Filling a void What I often see in my private practice are adults ... Read more

How To Love And Support Your Partner After Serving Overseas

By

What people do not see and may not understand is that the homecoming of a veteran is both a treasured event and a complex process. For a couple, in addition to all that it demands in terms of the reality of time, space, roles, money, kids and deployment cycles, homecoming means finding a way to integrate all that has happened to each partner into the ... Read more

Is Marriage A Good Deal Or An Ordeal?

By

There are lots of expectations about what marriage will provide that motivate people to choose it over the single life. Including … Love Companionship Regular sex Meaningful emotional connection Mutual support Financial and emotional security Material comfort A permanent ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular