With environmental issues front and center these days, I've been trying very hard to impart on my children the importance of being socially aware. The consumer I once was is now failing to thrive. This holiday season I decided to challenge myself| and in the process hopefully inspire others, by giving what I call gifts of transformation.
A gift of transformation is something that directly feeds a persons' spirit and leaves little or no carbon footprint. One of the most important questions to ask yourself when selecting a gift, especially for children, is: "What does this gift have to offer in terms of learning and/or personal growth?" Books as we all know are fantastic gifts for children. Even gently used books make great gifts because, let's face it, kids don't really care! The same holds true for games that allow you to play together as a family. Such games can create lasting memories for children and provide much needed family time.
Gifts that teach us about the importance of giving to others are most inspiring and, yes, personally rewarding. For instance, my oldest son has been asking me for a while now if he can volunteer at the humane society. He loves animals and such a gift would benefit him as well as the animals in so many ways. Another idea is to schedule a weekly or monthly family outing, beginning over the holidays. These planned outings can go a long way towards transforming your relationship with your children (not to mention your partner).
Discovery and exploration trips that give you and your family the opportunity to see what's going on in the world can be an alternative to sitting on the beach, as nice as that might sound. This can be especially rewarding when children are a bit older and can get directly involved. There are many programs offered worldwide that you and your children can participate in, all designed to help the disadvantaged. While I don't personally know many people who have had the privilege of participating in such programs when they were younger, those who have speak with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm about the life-altering impact these experiences had on them. They not only taught them essential life skills, they also deepened their awareness of how privileged we are in this society.
My favorite gift of transformation came from my dear friend and client Tara MacLean, Canadian songstress with the group Shaye. She gave me one session with well-known therapist, Kirk Austenson, for me and my partner. She told me she wanted to give me something that would help me live a fuller and happier life. Nothing can compare to that!
Speaking of partners, are you looking for a gift to share with your partner this holiday? Of course anything that keeps you both happy between the sheets is a must. What husband, no matter how much he'd like a pair of new golf clubs, wouldn't love to be ravaged by his yummy mummy? This season, why not focus on swinging from the chandelier and save the golf swing for another season?
Other ideas for gifts of transformation include giving the gift of health which could be in the form of a book or an e-book, fitness classes, a personal session with a nutritionist, or even a night out for a couple you know who are long overdue for some much needed time together. The options are endless. And while the price tag for these gifts can vary, the gift they give, which is the ability to transform in some way the life of someone you love, remains the same.
So this year, rethink gift giving and vow to give gifts of transformation to everyone you love.
Looking for additional gifts of transformation, check out www.newmom101.com for downloadable e-books for a special Mom in your life!