Avoid 'Stuff' Overload: Give Your Time Instead


I love my friends and family, but I don’t like giving them gifts. Wait, that didn’t come out right. What I mean is that I don’t like feeling obligated to give them something simply because it’s their birthday or a holiday. It puts me in a stressful situation, wondering what I can possibly give them that they’ll truly like and that fits my budget. Besides, we all have too much “stuff.”

Here’s a better idea: give the gift of time. Everybody needs extra help cleaning out their garage. And work is best done in the presence of loved ones. So rather than shop “Ëœtil your credit limit pops, make a beautiful card pledging a few hours of your dedicated time. Help, smiles and conversation – it’s a gift that everyone will appreciate.

Here are a few ideas of things you can give to each other:



PhotobucketGardening or yardwork

PhotobucketPet care

PhotobucketRunning errands

PhotobucketLetter writing

PhotobucketHanging art or decorating

PhotobucketCooking a meal

PhotobucketOrganizing a closet

PhotobucketHelping plan a travel itinerary

PhotobucketComputer or web help

PhotobucketHousehold repairs

PhotobucketUnfinished DIY projects

This list could go on forever. Perhaps you’re an ace at polishing resumes – why not offer it to your friend who is looking for a new job? Maybe you’re a natural when it comes to packing for a trip – your disorganized gal pal might love some help. Swap your skills and give the gift of time. Everyone will come out feeling as if they’ve received the best gift. What are things you could give?

Editor’s note: Special thanks to LA for the great idea. 😉

Image: Michel Filion