I’ll admit, I like giving presents more than I like getting them (with the exception of chocolates in my stocking, which I immediately devour like a four-year-old). It can be hard to find the perfect present, so I came up with a list for you last-minute folks!
Babysit for someone with young children. It’s good for the soul, and even if your back might be a little stiff the next day, it’s so worth it to get those hugs and sniff those little heads, and give the parents a little time off.
Bring flowers or a plant to someone in a nursing home. Those places can feel very sterile and lonely. There was a study that showed even caring for a plant improves mental health.
Got a friend who’s recently widowed, separated or divorced? Spend time with him or her. Listen. Bring cookies or wine. Or both.
Give a gift certificate for work you’ll do for someone. Are you a good gardener? A clean-freak, like me? A gifted baker? Doing something for someone is such a lovely feeling.
Donate in someone’s name. Every year we donate to Heifer International in my mom’s name. Mom is someone whose house is bursting with stuff. She doesn’t need more earrings or blue vases, so we loving giving a water buffalo or goat in her name. I like to tell her there are many animals named after her. (We use www.heifer.org).
Hug. There’s something so magical, warm and comforting about giving a hug to someone you love. You feel loved and safe, and you make them feel the same way. In NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT, which drops Tuesday (the obligatory mention of my upcoming book), Nora’s stoic mom doles out hug therapy, and it has quite the effect on people. You can do it for free.
And if you do want to buy someone a book for Christmas, proceeds from preorders and first week sales of NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT benefit that most wonderful place in the world—St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, which gives hope when hope feels impossible.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friends! I am so grateful for all of you!