It is the season with the cold weather, the string lights and the Christmas trees. It is the season to spend time with the loved ones (not that there is a specific season to do that, but if you don’t spend time with them, then you can make it a priority now). As an expat, I make an extra effort to sneak in some time to show some love to my family and friends. I strongly dislike gift giving just for the sake of giving gifts and I really hate the marketing that pushes us to buy more for us and for others as a way to show how much we care. There are other, more meaningful ways to show how much you care, other than buy something unnecessary for the one who has it all already. This year, instead of writing another gift list, I made a list of ways to show your loved ones you care without spending any money.
Illustration posted with permission from Kotsonak, my favorite storyteller
– Make mixed tape (or a playlist) with your favorite songs or a recording of you reading something like a Christmas story or a poem.
– Split a picture in 9 pieces, give it to 9 friends and ask them to send the piece they got to someone when they want (don’t spoil it). The one who gets all the pieces doesn’t need to know about the concept and will have to wait until all the pieces gather to get it.
– Simply tell them how grateful we are to have them in our lives.
– Take them on a walk or tour to the Christmas marker or the Christmas food fair. I’m sure there are plenty of Christmas activities organized in your city and most of them are free.
– Put on the Christmas music and bake something together. For me, it’s gingerbread cooking with my boyfriend and vasilopita (Greek new year’s cake) with my mother.
– Send hand painted Christmas cards or a handmade calendar. Here’s the one I painted for my mother, who didn’t even know I can draw. 🙂
– Clean the house together. There’s nothing better that showing some love to your common space.
– Go ice skating together. Most cities have ice-skating rings you can use for free.
Here’s my list for this year. Let me know of your ways to show love and I’ll add them in my list. Also, how do you feel about gift giving? Happy holidays!