5 Selfless & Unique Christmas Gifts to Give This Year
The holidays are a time for giving. However, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, sometimes you can get so caught up in getting the most expensive or technological Christmas gift that it overshadows the reason for the season. It’s not always the gift itself, but the meaning behind it and the feelings it can evoke in others.
A 2017 study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships suggests that small acts of kindness—instead of grand gestures—make people feel more loved and supported. Researchers found that positive moments like hugging, offering kind words, and receiving compassion make people feel most loved and appreciated. However, despite these findings, the hectic nature of the holidays can cause people to see these acts as burdensome.
To combat this, our team at Merry Maids® is no longer agonizing material things and subscribing to gifts that come straight from the heart, and we want to share them with you. Check out five selfless and unique Christmas gifts you can give to anyone this year.
1. Leave a Nice Message for Your Neighbors
The art of letters has been lost in the shuffle of smartphones, tablets, social media, and other advanced technology that allows us to communicate virtually. Have you considered dusting off that old writing utensil and taking the time to pen a personal letter to a neighbor congratulating them on a new addition to the family or complimenting their holiday light display?
Especially with COVID-19 still very much a part of our lives, making social interaction potentially risky, handwritten notes and letters have helped many people survive semi-isolation. A New York Times article reports that over 16% of (one in six) people have sent snail mail to friends and family during the pandemic. A gesture as simple as a personalized letter can help someone have a happier holiday.
2. Donate Your Time to Someone in Need
From military veterans to the homeless, various groups of people can benefit from your selfless gift of time. According to TRVST, 70% of volunteering doesn’t involve a formal process or a non-profit organization. Most people prefer to serve their communities and participate in its betterment because it’s the right thing to do.
This Christmas, ditch the store-bought present and give the gift of your “presence” instead. Help an elderly neighbor with yard work, deliver a meal to a homeless family or person, or give a ride to a co-worker to help them save on gas for the week.
3. Make Care Packages for a Deserving Group
Whether you’re putting together a hospital survival kit for loved ones visiting ailing families in a medical facility or assembling care packages for local homeless shelters, providing essential amenities will show others how compassionate you are. You don’t do this for the recognition, of course, but it may encourage others to join in or even pay it forward and perform an act of kindness for someone else.
Items that you can include in a care kit for the homeless or people visiting the hospital include:
- Hand sanitizer – Whether you’re putting together a gift package for those less fortunate or for anyone in the hospital, hand sanitizer is essential.
- Dry shampoo – There’s no telling how long someone has been living on the streets, but personal hygiene is vital to maintain a good quality of life.
- Snacks – Single-serving snacks are always best for a quick pick-me-up for hospital visiting families or homeless individuals.
- Bottled water – Water is critical in any care package to keep the recipient hydrated regardless of their circumstances.
4. Pay It Forward
Yes, we’re referencing both the heart-wrenching Haley Joel Osment movie (no spoilers!) and the expression that describes someone doing something voluntarily kind for you in the hopes that you’ll “pay forward” and do the same for someone else. The holidays are all about gratitude and showing people that you care. Yet, the idea of being generous isn’t simple, according to an article written by Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. He believes that part of the issue is there’s a lack of discussion about gratitude.
Emmons and a colleague conducted a study where students were asked to keep a journal for two weeks and express gratitude for things in their lives. They found that participants who kept this journal felt more inclined to offer emotional support and help others with a problem, which supported the notion that gratitude motivates people to do good deeds for others. So, this year, perform some act of kindness for Christmas and spread the love.
5. Curate a Professional Service Gift Box
Do you know someone who’s car could use an oil change? Or maybe you have a friend who desperately needs a night out with their spouse? You can curate a gift box of services for neighbors, friends, and family.
To get started:
- Think about the kind of services the person requires and their specific lifestyle. It may be helpful to recruit another person to get their opinion and ensure the items your choosing are appropriate.
- Next, select a gift card or specific deals to help them save money. For example, if you’re curating a date-night box for a loved one, add a movie gift card, some snacks, and home-made coupon for free babysitting (at your house, of course).
- Purchase a gift box and fill it with the curated items. You won’t need a box with embellishments or a ton of flair. What’s inside will do the talking for you.
Grand gestures aren’t always the way to go when it comes to showing the people you love how much they mean to you. This year, give your loved ones the gift of a clean home with a Merry Maids gift card and watch them light up faster than a Christmas tree.
To take advantage of our cleaning services, call (888) 490-4227 or request your free estimate online today.