Presence over presents

7 ways to give your loved ones what they really want – you!

So much of holiday stress is centered around finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Family, friends, co-workers – the list seems to grow every year! As much as we try to remind ourselves that time with those we love is the most important thing, Black Friday deals beckon us, and suddenly we are checking names off the list we weren’t going to make.

Can’t imagine the holidays without the gifts? Imagine this – the joy of giving, but without the stress of shopping, wrapping and shipping.

Extensive research now shows that people are much happier with experiences than presents. We’re not suggesting that you deprive the kids in your life from the joy of unwrapping something special, but by paring down your list and focusing instead on experiences, you may find this holiday season is your favorite yet.

Here are a few ways to enjoy your holidays more – together!

1. Travel together – Take that romantic trip with your spouse that you’ve discussed rather than trying to find the perfect present. Or get the family all together and all go in on a ski cabin rental or sunny escape.


2. If the thought of traveling on the holidays induces panic, think locally instead. Have a special night out with your spouse, or tell your friends that you’d prefer their company at that comedy club you’ve all been talking about. They might be relieved, and it will a happy memory together instead of a gift you quickly forget about.

3. Adopt another family for the holidays. Ask local schools of your local Salvation Army who could use some help in order to have a happy holiday this year. Then get your whole family involved in shopping for the presents and food they request. Delivering the gifts will renew your own gratitude whilst blessing others.

4. Similarly, find out if an elderly neighbor could use help decorating for the holidays. Get a couple of friends or round up the family to bring a tree and decorations to make the holidays brighter.

Image©Aleksandra Suzi/shutterstock

5. Ask the kids in your life if they’d rather have an experience rather than a toy. Music lessons, a chance to play a sport next season or a day with you at the zoo may mean more to them than anything you could put under the tree.

6. Experience a Tony Robbins event together. If your life has been changed at one of these events, don’t keep it to yourself – give the gift of transformation to your loved ones.

7. Volunteer together – Visit a nursing home with Christmas cookies, sing carols at the Veteran’s hospital, run a race to raise funds and awareness for your favorite charity or serve dinner at a local homeless shelter. The opportunities abound, and if you want to see what’s going on near you, visit Volunteer Match.

Image©Syda Productions/shutterstock

Of course, if you still prefer to give, why not pay it forward and give to someone who could really use the help? Organizations such as Feeding America are committed to making a difference every day, especially on the holidays.

Give yourself a gift through the way you give this year and make that two-millimeter shift in your focus, putting time with your loved ones front and center. Make it your best (and least stressful) holiday season yet.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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