gift givingJingle Bells, Silent Night, and Joy to the World are just some of the wonderful carols we sing to celebrate the season. We hear them piped into all the stores earlier and earlier every year. It’s the retailer’s way of getting us in the holiday moodand enticing us to buy gifts from them for all our gift giving. Some of the stores even have a calendar countdown to show us how few days we have left until Christmas.

It’s a lot of pressure on us to make sure we have all the gifts purchased for everyone on our list. And finding just the right gift for everyone adds to the stress of finishing our gift shopping on time. But just what is the right gift for little Sarah, Dad, your husband, or your best friend Michelle? Of course that depends on the person, their needs, wants, and desires. Buying more tools, kitchen gadgets, clothes, jewelry and toys, just adds to the ‘stuff’ we already have, and you know what that can mean, more clutter! Sometimes you hear someone say, I have everything I need, so don’t get me anything. You hear what they’re saying, but they are important to you, and you want them to know that by giving them a gift.

According to Wikipedia, giving means, ‘the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return.’ So, then giving doesn’t necessarily mean providing something tangible. There are other ways to give a gift that won’t add clutter to our spaces and sends the appropriate message. Read on to find some different gift giving ideas that you may not have thought about, and give yourself the gift of stress relief in the process.

•Make a monetary donation to a charity in the name of the recipient

•Give back to your local business community by giving gift cards for their services

•Give the gift of time to a busy Mom or Dad by offering to wash their car or babysit for them

•Create a gift certificate that entitles the recipient to a favorite meal or dessert

•Keep someone on the road with a gasoline gift certificate

•Give the gift of help by offering to help them finish a home improvement project

•Offer to pay for a book or a class for a struggling college student

•Give the gift of entertainment in the form of theater or movie tickets

•Give the gift of romance for that special someone with a weekend at a nearby bed & breakfast