Why does it take a tragedy, an illness or other loss for us to remember that time is our most precious gift? Time spent with those we love. Time doing things we truly enjoy. Time sitting, laughing, telling stories of long ago and remembering times gone by.
This is the time of year when we crave these simple pleasures and yet we pack every moment with hustle and bustle, crowded malls and long lines. We wear ourselves out until there is nothing left but crankiness, stress, and exhaustion. If only there were stores that sold time. Time to spend with those we cherish most. Time to replenish and nourish ourselves. A store filled with memories we could create and give as gifts to ourselves and others.
Memories are like bubbles containing fragments of our life. Stories to be retrieved from storage and passed on to others as we sit and tell them over and over. Perhaps this season we should fill a few bubbles with memories with the people who are most important to us. We should give experiences together instead of ill-fitting sweaters or another pair of slippers.
Here are 12 last-minute gifts of time you can give to those you love to create a few new bubble memories this coming year.
- A cooking class together.
- A dance lesson or night out dancing completely uncoordinated—no lessons needed.
- An afternoon baking cookies together.
- A day at an art museum with sketch pads to draw your favorite pieces and then lunch to laugh, to share, and to be in awe of your own artistic abilities.
- A trip to the ice-rink to learn all over again.
- A painting class together to create a memory to hang on your walls. (We even know where you can find a great one!)
- A pic-nick packed and prepared for two-rain, snow, or sunshiny day. Sometimes the best memories are from those imperfect times.
- A day fishing – even if you hate fishing…especially if you hate fishing.
- A kite with the promise of a day at the park or beach to fly it together.
- A day hiking or snowshoeing with the promise of wine or hot-cocoa after.
- An empty frame with a coupon for a photo shoot with all your favorite people at one of your favorite places and the promise of imperfection, lots of laughter, and no stress.
- A deck of cards you create with STORIES OF YOUR LIFE questions and then an afternoon to sit and listen and record the answers.
And perhaps for yourself, you give a few gifts as well. Instead of buying one pair of earrings for your best girlfriend and one for yourself, you give yourself one of these gifts:
- The gift of grace. Grace to buy cookies instead of spending hours making a home-made version. Grace to look at ourselves and know that we are pretty darn awesome regardless of the number on the scale or the number of gray hairs popping up.
- The gift of creativity. When you make time to unleash the creative genius inside, more joy is realized and more creative energy is born. Whether you express your creativity through dance, drawing and painting, or sewing and jewelry making, allowing yourself time to be creative has many benefits in your life. Making time for creativity expands your problem solving skills, gives you a sense of expanded time, and relieves stress, just to name a few.
- The gift of courage. Courage to follow your heart this coming year doing more of what you love, and less of the things that cause you stress and suck the joy from your life. Perhaps you will finally make time to exercise without feeling guilty for taking time away from helping with homework. Maybe you just need courage to finally leave the job that drains the life from you.
- The gift of dreaming bigger. Many times we put our dreams on the back burner as we care for others or when our “practical voice” tells us to be realistic. Perhaps you need to give yourself time to dream big. Go on a mini-retreat to a coffee shop or park somewhere where you can sit and write your dreams and goals. Have you always wanted to hike across the Grand Canyon or join a dance group? Do you have dreams of owning your own business or learning to ride a motorcycle? Write them down and hold these dreams close to your heart where some just might take seed and grow.
So make a promise to give more of these gifts this year. Gifts of precious memories shared with those we love most. Don’t wait. Time waits for no one.