By Katherine Ryan on December 6, 2016


I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and found plenty to be thankful for.   As we move into the season were life can become especially rushed and harried I thought I would share some thoughts with you to help you thrive during the holiday season.  I was listening to a webinar the other night and the speaker took the adage “Everyone you meet has a gift for you” and flipped it to “You have a gift for everyone you meet & only you know what it is.”  I like that!  Your gift may be a smile, a kind word, a thoughtful gesture, a meal for a homeless person…  you get the idea.  I ask that as each of you go through your day you reflect on “What is my gift for this person?”   And to help you stay focused on whatever the season means for you here are more tips on gift giving

Give to Yourself.  It is impossible to give to others when you have nothing to give.  Figure out what you need to recharge, reenergize and refuel.  Here are a few ideas on a gift to give yourself and to help you find the way from a human doing to a human being:

  • a few minutes each morning with your beverage of choice, sitting, looking out a window
  • a few minutes  each evening with your beverage of choice, sitting, in low light, reflecting on your day and finding snippets to appreciate
  • adopt a meditation practice; even a few minutes spent counting your breathes is helpful.  For help I recommend either of these two apps Headspace or Insight Timer, (I use both, one for morning meditation and one for evening meditation)

Give to Others.  Now that you have recharged give to others in whatever way you can.  Here are some ideas on gifts for others:

  • most communities and places of worship have a “Giving Tree”.  A place where the needs of families and individuals are posted to make giving easier
  • you may know of somebody in your community who is struggling.  Perhaps a grocery gift card given anonymously may brighten their spirits.  Or maybe take their child on an outing and pick up the cost
  • make volunteering a family event.  Decide together how often and what causes to support.  There are several web sites to help figure this out including along with
  • if you are unable to give the gift of time money always works, give to the charity of your choice, many of them depend on individual donations.

Giving to Loved Ones.  This should be easy but can often be the most difficult.  I think it’s safe to say that few people want a gift that was purchased out of “duty” or didn’t have much thought given to it.  Some people are very wise and make notes throughout the year on ideas for people, some people shop year round and are all set come gift giving season.  I am neither of those people!  If you aren’t either here are some ideas for gifts for your loved ones:

  • an experience, not many of us remember the gifts from our childhood but I bet that many of us remember the special experiences, perhaps give a child “a day” of your company and the child makes all the decisions of where to go, what  to eat… (it is okay to set a budget and bring some learning into the day)
  • a memory, true experiences turn into memories but for adults the process happens quicker, give your loved ones a memory…  make them a meal, plan an outing, this doesn’t need to be on a grand scale and it would be best to take the person’s interest into consideration…  for example don’t take an indoor person hiking, they may prefer a museum,  a book of homemade “coupons” might be appreciated
  • a letter or note,  heartfelt on paper, handwritten.  A dear friend of mine once said, “The gift does not matter as much as the card does.” Imagine how a letter would be received.

That wraps up my ideas for gift giving.  I hope you found some of these suggestions helpful.  Let me know what you thought by emailing me,

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