It is the gift-giving season of the year and in all honesty, I am concerned about purchasing gifts for people I care about. I care about a lot of people! Who gets a gift and who does not? What gift do I give to those what make the cut? How much money do I have available to spend on them? What can I get them that doesn’t fall into these staggering statistics?
- 53.1% of people report to receiving unwanted gifts during Christmas.
- $16 billion is wasted on unwanted gifts every year.
- 18% of gifts are never used by the person who receives them.
- 4% are immediately thrown into the trash!
The one that concerns me most is the $16 billion that is wasted on unwanted gifts every single year! Are you kidding me? That scares me when I think of where that money could be going.
I donated to food hunger, sponsored a 4-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl, gave to a homeless work in our area, and to a Christmas fund at our church that buys and packs lunches for school kids in our area all year long. I do what I can, and I could probably do more, but give me just a tenth of those wasted dollars and I could put them to good use, couldn’t you?
There are many true ways to give gifts that keep on giving, and this year more than ever it pains me to think that 16 Billion may likely be spent on things that are unwanted, regifted, or thrown in the trash – wasted.
I don’t know about you, but I am not one to waste money. I was raised in a low-income household with a dad who only finished the 8th grade. He made his living as a maintenance man to provide for his wife and us 7 kids. My mom graduated from high school and worked in a factory making steering wheels for automobiles most of her working life. We were a 2-income family, not for the niceties of life, the annual vacation, or our college funds, but to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, just like many working Americans of all race, color and creed. My blue-collar, hard-working, caring parents raised us kids to appreciate what we had. We were creative, resourceful, and though we enjoyed things, we learned to find joy in other more valuable ways. I couldn’t be more thankful for the gift that was given to me by my parents. It is the gift that keeps giving to this very day.
My husband and I are both hard-working people who raised our sons with the same gifts we were given as kids and they are also hard-working parents who are grateful, kind, generous; now giving the same gifts to their teens. It is a gift that has been passed down, from generation to generation, and it is a valuable gift that I encourage you to regift, and it is never wasted.
We find joy in more valuable ways like sharing a meal, or an experience, working a puzzle, playing a board game, taking a class together, or serving the needy. I believe that some things are loved because they are valuable, but some things are valuable because they are loved.
A man was watching his eighty-year-old neighbor planting a small peach tree. He inquired of him as follows: “You don’t expect to eat peaches from that tree, do you?” The old man rested on his spade. He said, “No, at my age I know I won’t. But all my life I’ve enjoyed peaches – never from a tree I planted myself. I’m just trying to pay the other fellows who planted the trees for me.”
Here are some more ideas for gifts that keeps on giving for those on your list this year:
- Appreciation/Thankfulness/Gratitude - communicating personal positive feelings of gratefulness with words and attitude.
- Encouragement - urging forward and positively persuading toward a goal
- Acceptance - deliberate and ready reception with favorable positive response
- Forgiveness - to grant pardon for or remission of (something); cease to demand the penalty for. To cease to blame or feel resentment against. Release from debt.
- Attention - to take thought of another; convey genuine interest and support.
- Comfort - to come alongside with word, feeling & thought; give consolation with tenderness and empathy.
- Respect - to value and convey worth; regarding the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.
- Patience - to calmly endure; tolerate without getting angry or upset; give grace.
- Support - to come alongside and gently help carry a load
- Cooperation - to operate together for a common purpose of mutual benefit.
These are the gifts that keep on giving and can be given at any time throughout the year. You don’t have to wait for a sale because they cannot be bought. They are truly One Size Fits All! They never wear out, are never out of date or out of style, and best of all they are perfect for every age group, every gender and every race! They do not need batteries and there is NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED! These gifts bring even greater joy when they are returned, or regifted! They are the only gifts that are guaranteed to be perfect for everyone and will be just what they’ve always wanted! You don’t even have to cut your gift giving list down because you can afford to give these gifts to everyone you care about!
Our world, our country, our schools, and our families desperately need an abundance of these gifts. We can change the world with valuable and timeless gifts like these, so give generously, this season and throughout the years ahead.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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– STEPHANIE WOLFE, NBC-HWC