1. Give the gift of time. If you give me money, it can be replaced. If you give me time, you give me your life. Spend time with the people who matter the most.
2. Give the gift of appreciation. Most people feel unappreciated. You can solve that by taking the time to point out to them something that you appreciate about them. It is the art of catching people doing something right.
3. Give the gift of attention. This gift is a combination of the first two. Time and appreciation equal attention. People do really stupid things to gain attention when they feel ignored. Children steal and married people cheat. The need for attention is powerful. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give any time of year. And it costs you little or nothing.
4. Give the gift of words. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many Christmas cards I’ve gotten this year. It seems to be up more than any other time of the year. Take the time to write a note. E-mail if that’s all you have time for, but take the time to say the words on paper, in print, particularly with a card. Words move the world.
5. Give the gift of memory. I have, right now on our refrigerator door, pictures from our vacation last summer when our whole family got to spend time together. Make a good memory and it will last a lifetime.
6. Give the gift of hope. For lack of hope people despair. Be hopeful, positive and give people real reasons to hope. If you’re a Jesus person, help them understand that this is more than just about a baby. This is about hope.
7. Give the gift of support. Take the time to put your money where your heart is and support someone or a cause that you care a great deal about. It’s nice to be there and it’s nice to send cards, but sometimes cash talks the loudest.
8. Give the gift of encouragement. This is the time of the year when people are most depressed and emotionally down from the weight of the past, unmet expectations of this past year, or just the pain of life itself. Be encouraging. Give an encouraging word.
9. Give the gift of anonymity. Do something for someone and stay anonymous. It’s amazing how powerful it is on them and how great you’ll feel doing something for someone whether it’s financial or using your connections or your position in order to help someone get somewhere, do something or have something and they don’t know who did it.
10. Give the gift of goals. In the next Dave Rave we’ll talk about how to set goals for the New Year, but now is the time to think about what’s just ahead. As we turn the corner into the New Year, it’s really important to have written down specific, agreed-upon goals. Enjoy the holidays and we’ll talk about goals later.