Gifts that Matter Most

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time for visiting family and friends; a time for renewing old acquaintances. We share gifts with those we care about, reach out to those we might not know as well, and help all those in need. Yet, one of the most common laments I hear about Christmas is that it has become such a commercialized holiday. A recent study showed us what we spend our money on during the Christmas season (1)

Christmas Tree: $41.50

Cards and Postage: $32.43

Floral Arrangements: $22.61

Food and Candy: $95.04

Decorations: $51.43

Travel: $960.50

Gifts: $750.68

So, for those of you who might want to take at least some of the commercialization out of Christmas, I found some suggestions for excellent gifts that cost little to nothing.

1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING... But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening – to your children or grandchildren as they excitedly tell you what they hope Santa brings. As your spouse recounts fond memories of Christmases past. To the carolers who tramp around in the cold, aiming to spread just a little holiday cheer. Listen. You might be surprised at the value of what you hear.

2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION... Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and holds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends. Gorilla Letters Library Values-Holiday-Gifts That Matter Most How to make Christmas less commercial.

3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER... Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE... It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT... A simple and sincere "You look great in red," "You did a super job," or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's holiday.

6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR... Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE... There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION... The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. It's not that hard to say, “Hello” or “Thank You.”

Author Unknown --- Submitted by Farez Shabudin Karimani --- Kinshasa, Congo

This Christmas season, I hope we can all give the gifts that are of the most value, that will last a lifetime, and won’t be tossed aside when they get old or worn out. These are the gifts that make Christmas truly special. On behalf of all of us at ProVest Wealth Advisors, I wish you a happy holiday season and a very Merry Christmas

1 Katie Adams, “How much money you’d save by skipping Christmas,”, December 7, 2009.