December conjures visions of sugarplums & parties filled with family and friends around the fire. It can also bring the specter of tired feet, hours spent shopping for the perfect gift or dread of loneliness and depression for patients and their caregivers struggling with the season.
It’s always better to give than to receive. With a little effort, you can fill someone’s holidays with love and beauty by sharing the most priceless gift of all—your time. After all, togetherness reigns as what really makes this time of year so remarkable. Here are just a few ideas to keep under your Santa hat until it’s time to surprise someone you love.
Not So Silent Nights
Do they rock around the tree or prefer the sound of silver bells? Compile a CD assortment of their favorite artists’ latest releases, greatest hits or holiday classics (or download their faves onto a custom disk).
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Make it live and send that serenade. March the mariachis to their front door, or send carolers, a barbershop quartet, brass trio or whatever makes them jingle.
Let It Glow
Candles in essences of pine, evergreen, cranberry, vanilla and spice fill the house with aromatic spirit. Consider including a candle warming plate—no flame worries and scents last even longer. Scented fireplace logs, colored flame pinecones and scented broomsticks, potpourri and infusers also add to the ambiance.
Savor the Season
Whip up a bunch of heat and serve meals or desserts in freezer-safe disposable containers. Recipients get evenings of homemade goodness without the trashed kitchen.
It’s a Marshmallow World
Host a Sweet Treats Party with a cookie/baking exchange. Everyone brings plenty to share and copies of the recipes. Yummy!
Deck the Halls
Grab a pre-lit tree and ornaments in their favorite themes and shades and decorate it for them. Or have it delivered. When you go, don’t forget cookies, nog, cider, coffee and/or cocoa with paperware in fun, disposable holiday patterns. Fast and easy with no mess. Bring extras to last.
Trek the Malls
Battling illness takes its toll on everyone. Offer to take them on a sleigh-ride to lunch and chauffeur them to the mall to help gather the goodies on their own gift lists. If they’re not quite up to it, note the details and shop for them. That’s generosity!
Wrap it Up, Write Away
Holiday sentiments fill mailboxes with wishes and cheer, but writing them out can be daunting. So save the season, practice your penmanship and address someone’s cards. Stuff the envelopes and buy the stamps, too! If they’ve got packages to wrap or mail, offer an afternoon to bust your bows in pretty paper and deliver it to the post office or other destination.