Frugal Feast: Holiday Gift Ideas to Improve the Quality of Your Life

My favourite bookstore and restaurant – Muse Canberra

Do you struggle with finding what to buy for family and friends at Christmas? Maybe you have bought all your gifts already, but if you are anything like most people, you are in the final straight where you are starting to panic about finding that perfect gift to buy.

Today I am pleased to present a guest blog post by life coach Julie Morris.  She has an interesting appraoch about making presents help with your personal development journey. Some great ideas last minute gifts and inspiration for next year.

“Make gift-giving easy for friends and family this year by filling your wish list with goods and services that can improve the quality of your life.  Forego traditional items you don’t need, like another tie, robe or sweater. Consider things that will save you time, reduce stress and contribute to your overall well-being.

Stress Relief

If you have a demanding job and an active personal life, chances are that you often feel the stress that comes with “having it all.”  Think about adding a Desktop Zen Garden Kit to your holiday list.  If you feel chained to your desk, this type of garden can help you decompress and slow down for a bit.  Creating patterns in the sand will calm your mind and leave room for inspiration and peace. Zen Gardens are designed to recreate the dry landscape gardens of Japanese Zen Buddhism.

In 2015, according to The Washington Post, an estimated 12 million adult colouring books were sold in the United States. They also note that experts say colouring can help slow down your heart rate and respiration, loosen muscles and stimulate the brain.  In addition, there is a self-soothing meditative benefit because you’re doing the same motion repeatedly. Think about a colouring book and a nice set of pencils or pens for your wish list.  According to CNN, just like meditation, colouring can also help clear your mind so that you’re only focused on the moment, this can help alleviate free-floating anxiety.

Helpers and Time Savers

If you enjoy preparing home-cooked meals but don’t have time to spend hours in the grocery store or just hate the task and the time it shaves off your day, consider adding meal-kit delivery service to your list.  From organic to vegan to Southern barbecue and everything in between, all the ingredients can be delivered to your home in a carefully labelled box.  In Australia, companies such as Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon offer good introductory specials – if you are savvy you could pick up a voucher to make a gift of one more affordable.

If you love a great looking yard every spring but don’t have time to take care of it, think about asking for lawn service this year.  If you live in Canberra, consider supporting social enterprise The Mower Shed by getting your garden spruced up by then.

Gratitude and Expression

Whether it’s chronicling your life events or a place to note your reflections and what you’re grateful for, a journal can make a nice addition to your wish list.  Experts agree on the benefits of journaling to help relieve stress, reduce depression and improve your outlook.

If you are more comfortable giving than receiving, think about asking your loved ones to make donations in your honour to a charity that you support.  Perhaps you’ll want to take it a step further and, in lieu of gifts, gather your crew and volunteer your time on behalf of a worthy cause.

No matter what your list entails, think about what will bring you the most lasting joy throughout the year. If you spend enough time reflecting, most likely material things won’t be on the top of your list. Gifts of time, love and thoughtfulness are priceless and mean the most to us all.”

Ms. Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways.
What do you REALLY want this Christmas?  Beyond stuff, what can add value to your life?  How can you turn the Christmas gift-giving ritual into something that is really rewarding and satisfying for you and loved ones?

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