Here are five gifts that have no cost (other than supplies you probably have around your house). I’ve mentioned the elderly several times in this post because I have so many elderly individuals who are close to me, but obviously, there are other people out there who need some love and attention. (Image credits: The Kitchn) Classic, easy, and delicious, cookies are a great gift for people outside your inner circle who you still want to share with. When I was growing up, we used to sing Christmas carols to the elderly shut-ins in my neighborhood, and I would always draw pictures for them. A burnt CD of podcasts. Then, everyone gets to take a variety of cookies home to share as they see fit. The added oven time means plenty of time for drinking wine and conversing. That means that I have plenty of wonderful, entertaining, beautiful books that I can share with others. Even if you aren’t feeling strapped for cash this season, you can give these meaningful items in addition to other gifts, or give them to friends or acquaintances with whom you wouldn’t normally exchange grander gifts. Time is precious, and people will notice when you go out of your way to share it. As long as it’s not falling apart or covered in food, then I don’t see any issue with sharing your treasure. It could be a family member you rarely see, a friend you rarely phone, strangers at a nursing home or homeless shelter, or a friend or acquaintance with whom you’d like to get closer. 3. With that in mind, giving them a hard copy of Serial seems perfect. Cookies. 5. 4. Include a note about why it resonated with you or why it made you think of the person you’re giving it to. Artwork. Much of the holidays are consumed with rushing around, errands, and hustle and bustle, but I would suggest that if you get a spare moment, share it with someone who needs it. Or, if you have kids, why not let them spread their creativity? A book you’ve read. One old man who is particularly dear to my heart told me the last time I visited that he has a piece of that art on the wall of his living room, twenty-five years later, but even for those who don’t hold it near and dear, kids’ art can often inspire smiles. (And if you want to pay it forward, there’s always the option to donate a few bucks to the podcast of your choice.) If you need more recommendations, check out our post on “The Best Podcasts for a Slow Day at Work.”
2. I’m a serious book hoarder, but a few years ago, I made a pact with myself that I would only keep books that I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would come back to and read again. It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions.