Opening the Doors to Healthier and Stress-Free Living
A Column by Alice Abbott-Moore,
Content Access/Information Delivery Teams, Ekstrom Library

Don't Panic Over Holiday Gifts

The Holidays are just around the corner and for some of us this means a flash of panic. I don't know about you, but visions of going in debt come to mind. Now before you start thinking that I am some type of Scrooge, do hear me out. One does not have to go into hock to make it through the holiday season. In fact, going into debt is not what the holidays are about! Unfortunately, commercialism has become so strong and so penetrating that many of us do fall victim.

Help is out there if one can stay focused. In fact, there are many creative and useful ways to find wonderful gifts at a reasonable price.

Now I have been told that I am a bit more practical than most people (I'm a GOAB—Girl On A Budget!) My perspective may be a tad tainted, but here are some wonderful gifts to give as well as to receive:

Food and fruit baskets
Food and fruit baskets may be purchased or put together on one's own. Sizes may vary to fit the person or persons. Gifts of food such as cakes, cheeses, cookies, crackers, fruit, jellies, and nuts are wonderful gits with which to celebrate the holiday season.

Do you know a person who has moved into his or her first apartment or house? Has the person bought a new car? Tools are great. Not only are they practical, but your gift will be used again and again. Tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, wood saws, and tire-irons (4-ways), are great things to give. Plus, wrapping them will present a real challenge!

Gift certificates
Gift certificates are for persons who patronize certain restaurants and/or stores. They also offer a solution for that hard-to-buy-for person. Also, homemade gift certificates are wonderful gifts. Does someone on your gift list need a service that you can provide? I used to give quite a few gift certificates for yard work, baby-sitting, etc. I found that the receivers of my gift certificates really appreciated and used their gifts.

Athletic equipment
Do you know an athlete who works out a lot? Sometimes it is great to get a brand new gym bag, sweats, socks, T-shirt, towel, or sport watch. One of my favorite gifts is a gym bag that I probably would not have bought for myself. I have really come to enjoy and use it. These items can be found in all types of stores in an assortment of sizes, colors, and prices.

The Gift of time
One of the best gifts I have received from my friends and family is the gift of their time. Many of us are so busy these days that we don't have time to spend with each other. Spending time with friends and family, to me, far exceeds any physical gift I could receive.

Peace to you during this season!