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Giving Gifts that Are More than Just Stuff

It’s no secret the United States is drowning in stuff. Recently, the LA Times reported the average American home has over 300,000 items in it. In fact, the fastest growing real estate segment in the nation is storage facilities, with over 50,000 nationwide just to store our extra stuff. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or just for fun, what do we do? Buy more stuff to celebrate.

Presents are wonderful, but sometimes material gifts can get a little exhausting. If you’re tired of all the stuff this holiday season, fear not. Gifts can be more than material items. Check out these gifts to give that are about more than just stuff.

Give an Experience
Studies have consistently shown giving experiences rather than material items can be much more fulfilling for the receiver. Experiences like a trip, an adventure or even just going to see a movie together can leave the receiver with something to cherish forever as a memory, rather than something which can fade and fall apart.

For children especially, giving experiences as gifts and sharing family time together has been proven to increase bonding within the family. This leads to fewer behavioral problems, a stronger sense of identity and higher academic success. This holiday season, mix up the usual gift giving by going ice skating together, taking a trip or checking out some local attractions.

Give to a Charity
Sometimes, giving back to those in need can mean more than giving unneeded stuff. This holiday season, try giving gifts to others in the names of those you love close to you. Find a worthwhile cause which means a lot to the person you love, and consider making a donation in their name. Not only will it mean the world to your friend or family, but it will mean everything to a struggling neighbor in your community.

Give Delicious Food
The best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Material gifts can fall apart, but delicious food will always be worthwhile when it’s devoured. Try baking a homemade dessert, tasty recipe or hot cocoa mix for the chilly winter months. Not only will the receiver love the tasty treat, but it will you show you care through your extra effort to make something delicious, rather than just spending money.

Give Your Time
Nothing is more valuable than time, and this holiday season, you can show just that by giving your time to those who need it most. Whether it’s reading more books with your children, volunteering at a local shelter or sharing a long talk with your elderly relatives, take time to give time and watch the results. Not only will those receiving of your time and attention feel valued, but you too will have a more joyful and love-filled holiday season.

Give Something Handmade
If you do decide to give material gifts this holiday season, consider adding an extra special touch by making them homemade. Sew a sweater, write a heartfelt poem or draw a picture for those you love most. Giving something handmade shows you took the time to carefully create it yourself, and will mean much more in the long run to those who who receive it.

This giving season, give more than just stuff to your friends and family. Give the gifts of experiences, charitable giving, delicious food, your time or something handmade.

Because at the end of it all, no one’s going to look back and be thankful for all the stuff they got. They’re going to look back and be thankful for the meaningful time and cherished moments spent with loved ones.

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