Over the last few weeks, there’s certainly been lots of talk about shopping for the holidays. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas shopping sales… Is it just us or does it sometimes feel like the focus of the season is more and more on the gifts people are expected to buy (and hope to receive!), and less and less on the spirit of the holiday itself?
Then again, maybe it’s not just us: according to a Pew Research Center poll, nearly one in four Americans say the holidays have become too expensive, and 9% of us won’t participate in holiday gift giving of any kind!
With that in mind, we thought we would talk about an intriguing alternative to this sort of spending. Our modest proposal: to spend time, not money, on holiday gifts.
Impossible, you say? We beg to differ. In fact, we’d like to offer these five tips on how you can do just that this season – spend time instead of money on gifts – and have a truly unforgettable holiday with friends and family. Here are our five ideas:
1) Create the gift
You can create a scrapbook of memorable photos, make something homemade in your kitchen, knit a sweater, and even arrange some flowers and greenery into a bouquet from your own backyard. Remember, over the holiday season, it truly is the thought that counts.
2) Create an activity
Accompany an elderly relative out for an afternoon at a museum, or grab your young nephews and nieces to play in the snow at the park, followed by hot cocoa and marshmallows. Low-cost, fun filled activities are all around you if you start looking for them.
3) Volunteer together
You might have heard about families that spend certain days over the holiday season donating their time together to provide support at a shelter or soup kitchen. You can be one of them. All you need to do is contact your local charity organizations and see what you can do to help.
4) Give time
Help a friend clean out their attic; shuttle friends and family members to activities they might not otherwise be able to get to quickly; even babysit so folks you care about can have a night away from the kids. Life is so hectic, and in many cases time really is more valuable than money. Trust us: your gift will be appreciated.
5) Write something from the heart
In the long run, what would you treasure more: another gift certificate, or a heartfelt message someone has given to you expressing how much you mean to them? To us the answer is clear: words spoken from the heart are more precious than gold.
We hope we’ve given you a sense of all the possibilities out there for gift giving that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We are J.G. Wentworth, the nation’s largest purchaser of structured settlement and annuity payments in the country, and helping our customers get the money they need sooner out of their payments is our business. But this holiday season, we want to talk about something more valuable than money: each other.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season ahead, full of gift giving of the purest kind, and encourage you to call us anytime to discuss your own structured settlement or annuity payments plan at 877-227-4713.