Gift Giving

It is the time of year when I see others scurrying about in search of the perfect gift for a special someone. The mall parking lots are car combat zones, the UPS drivers are building biceps at an impressive rate and for many, frustration builds because they can’t quite decide what gift might be most suitable for the picky kid approaching adolescence.

The Reason We Celebrate in My Home

The Reason We Celebrate in My Home

For those parents or relatives struggling to stuff a young stocking, the author, Richard Wiseman combine hundreds of studies down to a few simple gifts that can be given to nurture the life of a young person. The best part is that they are not only appropriate for Christmas but for any day of the year.

The Daily Gift

Give the gift of facial contortions. Researchers split a group of people into two groups and measured the mood of each. One group was asked to furrow their brows while the second group was asked to adopt a grin. Not surprisingly, the group smiling reported better moods than those with the grimace. The significance of this study is in the symmetry – not only do happy people smile but smiling creates happier people. Smile at your kids and other people’s kids. It will cause them to smile back and that will reinforce the feeling for you.

A Monthly Gift

Give the gift of goofing off. According to a self-control study at Oregon State University, playing games with kids causes them to learn to pay attention, follow directions and build self-control. One easy game is that of playing Freeze to music. Kids dance to the music until it stops. Ask them to dance slowly to slow music and quickly to a more brisk beat and then reverse it. This is not only a time of silly fun but is shown to help kids develop the power of self discipline. Maybe a few adults we know should do it also?

An Annual Gift

Psychologist E. Glenn Schellenberg divided a group of 6 year olds into four groups. The first group learned to play the keyboard. The second group received voice training lessons and the third group took acting lessons. The fourth was a control group that didn’t receive lessons of any kind. In IQ tests given before and after the study, the students with keyboard and voice lessons improved their scores while the drama students matched the control group with consistent scores. Give the gift of music. There are many studies that reinforce this connection and there is only promise in making the world a more musical place.

Our holidays are abundant and I don’t know how quickly I’ll be back here. Until then, may the Spirit bless you with peace this year.

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29 Comments

  1. I love this list! I really like the idea of playing freeze to music – we have lots of dance parties with the 3 year old in our house, so I think he’d really enjoy this version of the game as well.

    Reply
  2. Wishing you a new year full of joy, Tammy. Thank you for the reminder that gifts can come every day in all sorts of ways.

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    • Happy New Year Jane! May it bring you time to fully enjoy your remodel and to travel to places that you’ll share with us.

      Reply
  3. Lisa H

     /  December 21, 2014

    The gift of time is my favorite, as everyone is so busy going in different directions. Spending an evening with family and friends, relaxing, sharing stories and most of all laughing, is the most wonderful gift. Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  4. Beautiful Tammy. Thank you for your lovely stories. great visuals including bulging muscles UPS drivers and Madonna ornaments.

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  5. Loved these ideas. We went for a beach walk yesterday and saw parents playing kick ball with their two kids ~ and I commented that the kids probably enjoyed that gift of time more than any gift they might receive on Christmas Day.

    Reply
    • And they will remember it also! We tend to remember those active outdoor activities more often.

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  6. Beautiful gifts! Thank you so much for sharing and helping us think outside of the expensive box!

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    • I’ve never been very good at the boxed kind so this is my way of sharing all year long.

      Reply
  7. What a great post. I learnt so much. Especially about the gift of music. I’ve been thinking of getting Alfie to learn an instrument and now I’m convinced. Merry Christmas to you and all your family xx

    Reply
    • My youngest is quite the musician and I love to listen to him play guitar and sing. It’s a gift right back to me!

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  8. Now those are gifts that last, especially that of music. All the best for the coming year, love seeing your thoughts.

    Reply
  9. Sally

     /  December 26, 2014

    My grandson volunteered his keyboard to his new step grandfather. 84 1/2 years old and awoke Christmas morning at 3:30, seeing this gift, opening it and started playing for an hour! He loves it and what a difference in mood! Wonderful list

    Reply
  10. May you be blessed with all you need Tammy 🙂

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  11. What an inspiring cool post, dear Tammy! I hope you celebrated a lovely Christmas with your loved one’s! xxx

    Reply
  12. HI Tammy, Our holidays have been full and busy and joyous. One thing we have added to our list is play more games—as in word games, story games, drawing games–creative games that have nothing to do with xBox or boards and dice, but use pen (or pencil, markers) and paper. Wishing you and yours all the best in 2015! Nancy

    Reply
    • I love drawing games! I am just learning mah jong and have to admit that I’m enjoying that also. Happy 2015!

      Reply
  13. Such a great post. Seriously though…aren’t we only supporting consumerism with gift giving! I am passing this post to my husband. He will dig this. When I asked him this Christmas, what’s for me, he said ‘lots of love’ 😉

    Reply
    • Yes, we are and we are supporting it for the sake of it. My family live so far away that I have no clue about their tastes or desires unless they spell it out for me. Happy New Year Rukmini.

      Reply
  14. Three fantastic gifts that keep on giving, Tammy. Hope you have had a wonderful festive break; and hope you and the family have a really happy 2015.

    Reply

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