Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas and Other Holidays: Gifts of Time

A gift of your time might mean time spent babysitting, or doing household chores or various errands. But it might also mean time spent together with someone special (a partner, a child, a parent or grandparent, an old friend) who just hasn't seen enough of you lately.

Here's how Stop Overshopping explains the gift of time:
What can you do well? Teach it to someone on your list who'd like to acquire that skill.

How can you help the people you love? What would someone on your list love to have done for them? Does someone need babysitting, pet sitting, computer, camera, or iPod assistance? Give a coupon, redeemable for a few hours of bulb planting or transplanting.

What can you share with people who matter to you? Treat them to a meditation class or a museum talk or a ballgame or a beading workshop that you attend with them.
You'll notice that some of these gifts of time overlap with the gifts of experiences I wrote about yesterday. If you give people gifts of experiences that you're going to share with them, those gifts could fall in either category. (But who really cares what you call them?)

Want some more examples of gifts of time? Over on FlyLady, cleaning seems to be one theme. I saw that someone gives her mom "a certificate for cleaning her bathrooms once a month." Someone else writes that "My children and I wash, wax, and vacuum out my Daddy's truck for him for his Christmas gift each year."

And then there was this one:
Years ago a friend gave me a wonderful gift. It was a coupon book she had made for me and she included things like "A Free Lunch" (she fixed me a lovely brunch when I cashed in the coupon.) There were coupons for "Free Babysitting" and one for "A Trip to the River - Picnic Lunch Included" and several others. ...

The coupon book was such a wonderful thing to receive, because it showed me how much she cared. And it was customized just for me, which you could do for each person you choose to bless with a coupon book. You might give your father "A Walk in the Woods" or your DH [Dear Husband] might enjoy "A Backrub" or your DD [Dear Daughter] might enjoy "I Will Help You Make a Batch of Cookies."
And yes, you can buy those cute little gift of time cards shown at the top of this post. [via Oh Joy!] And Jenny Cereal has a blank Christmas gift certificate you could print out and use.

Want more clutter-free gift ideas? You can find links to all articles in this gift-giving series here:
Christmas and Other Holidays: A Clutter-Free Gift Guide

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