5 Creative Gift Giving Ideas that Will Not Break the Bank

April Benson for SuccessTelevision.com

The holiday lights and advertisements to spend are already happening. Here are five great gift ideas that has you share who you are with the people you love.

creative gift giving ideasThe "good life" comes from doing things, not from having them. And the seasonal holidays, despite the blizzard of buy-messages, are no exception. If you really look at your own experience, it will verify what research has demonstrated over and over: we get far more lasting pleasure and satisfaction from life experiences than we do from material possessions.

Do not fall for the commercialized version ofhappiness , the hype that is designed to get you to spend, spend, spend on stuff that you and the people you are buying for probably do not need and may not even use. Do not buy into the equation that what you spend has any relationship with how much you care. You can spend thousands on material gifts that prove worthless, and not a dime on an activity gift that turns out to be priceless.

  1. Give the gift of your time. What can you do well? Teach it to someone on your list who' would 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.
  2. Instead of enriching merchants, enrich your own life and the lives of the people around you. Rather thanbuying things , do things for and with the people on your gift list-things that nurture their hearts, minds, bodies, or spirits. Introduce yourself and someone on your list to something that will expand both of your lives. This year, What Would Jesus Buy?, the hilarious and often thought-provoking documentary about overconsumption in during the end-of-year holidays, is a great choice. You could also sign the two of you up for a live performance, a talk, a class, a course, a retreat of some kind. You'll find it's actually an advance!
  3. Find creative, imaginative ways to connect with family and friends. Introduce a young child to the wonders of the sky-a visit to the planetarium or an evening spent stargazing-will last incomparably longer than the newest electronic toy. A novel and carefully planned day or evening will be remembered far more fondly than a purchase wrapped in ribbons and bows, whether a hike to a beautiful vista with a picnic lunch you have prepared, or a sunset stroll followed by an outdoor concert, or some down time at home with a movie and popcorn and you.Anybody can buy a given material object; nobody else can offer an experience that you are part of.
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