The only thing disappearing quicker than money these days is time. It’s hard to believe that another year is just about over and we’ll soon be racing through the new one. Each year when children are asked what they want most from their parents, the most popular answer is time. They want more time with their mother and father. How the time is spent varies, from having a book read to them at bedtime to just playing in the backyard.
Many adults appreciate the gift of time as well. In this age of extreme hustle and bustle, the simplest of gifts become the most show-stopping, because it is so rare for anyone to give the gift of time these days. Are you willing?
Here are a few gift ideas which will be appreciated and remembered for years to come.
Family Recipes: Everyone has a favorite food that someone in the family makes and they look forward to tasting it each year. It’s one thing to pass along the recipe, but every cook knows there are secret steps to making things taste just right and that can only be shared by cooking together. How do you package this into an inspiring gift? I’ll tell you! I’m originally from Louisiana and many years ago I was missing home, especially the food and the people. To my surprise, a box arrived at my door and when I opened it up, I found a gumbo pot, wooden spoons, and the recipe and all the ingredients to make gumbo. Also packed in the box were wonderful reminders of home including mardi gras beads, Cajun spices, and potholders emboldened with Louisiana art and popular sayings.
It was a wonderful gift and you can do the same with your favorite recipe. Buy the special pan that you cook or bake your recipe in and fill it with fun accoutrement including an apron, cooking utensils needed and the recipe. Then add a card with the gift explaining that you’d like to arrange a time to spend with the recipient, spending an afternoon cooking together, as you share the recipe and instructions with them. This can be as simple as a cookie sheet and rolling pin for young children to bake cookies with grandma, to tongs and a special BBQ sauce for a father in law to share with his son in law over some grill time. The possibilities are wide open and what’s most important is to create that pocket of time that the two of you spend together enjoying the moment and each other’s company.
Personalized Coupons: One year my husband surprised me by filling my stocking with a coupon book he had made. The coupons consisted of actions that he would do for me upon presentation of the coupon. They ranged from massage and helping with various chores around the home, to very unique offerings that I still remember and look back at fondly to this day, because they were so personalized and thoughtful. One said, ‘Upon presentation of this coupon, I promise to drop whatever I’m doing, no matter what it is and give you my full attention instantly’. Another was called ‘Chocolate Now’, which said I could present the coupon when I was in an urgent chocolate need and he would be pressed into service to find the chocolate I desired and bring to me post haste.
There were many others and each were equally delightful. What touched me the most was how well thought out each one was, as he had given great thought to things I really enjoyed and then offered these items to me so lovingly in little certificates of time.
Our son was very young at the time when my husband gave me these coupons at Christmas and as all children do, he watched the activity with great interest. He could see how the coupons touched me and how much I enjoyed them. A few days later, we were celebrating my birthday and he announced that he had a gift for me and that like his father, he had created a coupon book for me. I was so touched and couldn’t wait to see what coupons he had created for me. I imagined things such as ‘I’ll clean up my room, pick up my toys’ and other scenarios. I looked at his father to see if he had played a part in this gift and he shrugged his shoulders and indicated he had been unaware. What I received instead will be remembered forever.
The first coupon said, ‘I will love you forever, for you are the best mommy.’ Not a mother I know can receive a coupon like this and not cry at their mere mention of it. What happened next was so memorable and funny that we still joke about it today. He had wanted the rest of the coupons to be gifts given to me, dinner out at my favorite restaurant, a trip to a place I wanted to see and some jewelry. Knowing that he needed to find the resources to provide the gifts to me, the logical answer was apparent to him immediately.
The coupons then began to read… ‘This coupon says: Daddy will buy you a necklace with diamonds, Daddy will take us on a trip and Daddy will take you to dinner at your favorite restaurant.’ I began to chuckle and my husband looked at me, as he had not seen the coupons yet. I hugged my son and said I loved the gift and then handed them over to his father. We later explained to him that the coupons are meant to be things that he could do as a gift. He understood but still maintained that I needed to receive these presents and his father would have to play his part in the coupons. All these years later, we still laugh and joke about the coupons and suggest that whenever needed, he can always fall back on some coupons as gifts.
Play Time: Think about the person you wish to give the gift to and what they most loved to do when they were young. Maybe it’s a friend you’ve known since elementary school and now they work a high pressure job with long hours. You remember that they have always loved baseball and that they were a pretty good player back in the day. Yes, you could buy tickets and take them to a major league game, but there are other gifts of time that you could offer as well including… purchase a glove and baseball for your friend or a football and scout out a local park where the two of you could toss the ball. Write down the name of the park and create two tickets that look similar to ball park tickets. Write on the tickets a day and time and list the park name and location. Present the tickets with the baseball and glove or football and invite your friend for an afternoon of catch. Bring along a cooler of your favorite beer and snacks and a simple afternoon in the park can provide just the downtime that your friend needs. This also works with fishing, golfing and hundreds of other activities and is just as appreciated by fathers and brothers as well as friends.
As our lives grow busier by the day, time is the one gift that doesn’t truly expire, as the memories of being together last a lifetime. Consider giving your loved ones the rare gift of time this year for the holidays. You may be surprised to discover how much it truly means to them and to you.
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More about Kala Ambrose: Kala Ambrose is an award winning author, intuitive and talk show host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Her thought-provoking interviews entice listeners to tune in around the globe! Described by her guests and listeners as discerning, empowering and inspiring, she speaks with world renowned authors, artists, teachers and researchers delving into metaphysical, holistic and paranormal topics. Kala’s book, 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled delves into the mysteries of ancient Egyptian mystery schools and explains their wisdom teachings. Kala Ambrose is a highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire. She lectures on the Ancient Wisdom Teachings of Egypt and the Mystery Schools, Working with Auras, Chakras and Energy Fields, and Wise Woman Wisdom.