Is a snow storm coming your way and you don’t have anytime left to shop? Are you always looking for the perfect gift for you mom, husband, or best friend? Try these ideas and you don’t have to wait until Christmas to give them out!

1. The Gift of Listening But you must really listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t daydream, don’t plan your response. Just listen. Just sitting with someone, asking them questions about their life, giving them a chance to talk can be just what that person needed. Refrain from giving advice, telling your story, adding comments…..JUST LISTEN!

2. The Gift of Affection Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends. Give your children hugs, your spouse, your neighbor, your pastor. Let them know they are appreciated and loved!

3. The Gift of Laughter Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.” You can even email a funny story or joke once in a while…just don’t fill up their inbox! 🙂

4. The Gift of Solitude There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others. Giving your spouse the “night off”. Let him go into a room, shut the door and read or watch TV without interruption. Ahhhhh!

5. The Gift of a Favor Everyday, go out of your way to do something kind. Just once, say “yes” when someone asks you for a favor and see how good you make them feel and I bet it will make you feel good too!

6. The Gift of a Written Note It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full all-out letter. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime. Yes, email is quicker, but to receive an handwritten note in the mail is priceless!

7. The Gift of a Compliment A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day. You will never know the impact on someone’s day when you offer them a compliment! It could be just what they needed to hear!

8. The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. The person that might need this right now is the checkout clerks at your local store. They have been putting up with cranky customers all day and they are bracing themselves for the next cranky/tired customer when you walk up Happy, Cheerful, and Kind! Wow! What a relief to them that would be. I just did this yesterday at our Sam’s Club. The customer 2 ahead of me in a VERY LONG line was having difficulties at the register as was the clerk. It took a LONG time for her to check out. The couple in front of me was NOT patient. Yes, I was getting a little worried because if I didn’t get through soon I would have been late picking up my kids from school, but when the couple in front of me in line got to the checkout, they were embarrassingly RUDE! I could not believe the harsh words they were saying to the customer (with 2 children listening) and to the cashier. So, when it was my turn, I was extra careful to be cheerful and appreciative. I noticed the cashier smiling again when I left and I hope I helped her day go a little smoothly….at least until the next cranky customer.

I know you can’t wrap these in a box with a pretty bow, but you can make an effort to change somethings about yourself and give of yourself to others a little bit each and every day. The effect you have may be life-changing for others as well as yourself!
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