10 Gifts Anyone Can Afford

Here’s a list of Christmas gifts anyone can afford.  Although these gifts won’t cost you a cent, they are priceless. Why? Because with each one you are giving the most precious gift of all: yourself!

1. The gift of listening. One of the greatest things we can do for others is simply to listen to them. This means we really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no becoming impatient, no planning your response. Just listen.

2. The gift of giving signs of affection.  Be generous with your hugs, your kisses, your pats on the back, your smiles, your winks, your gentle squeezings of the hand. Let these small actions demonstrate your great love.

3. The gift of a note. Write notes to your loved ones and friends. Your notes can be as simple as “I love you” or a longer letter giving “50 reasons why I like you” or explaining “Why I’m glad you’re my friend.”

4. The gift of laughter. Everyone loves to laugh. Make your loved one laugh by cutting out a cartoon, passing along a joke, forwarding a funny video, copying a riddle, sharing a humorous article. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you!”

5. The gift of a game. Most people have at least one game they like to play whether it’s cards, charades, monopoly, checkers, golf, tennis, chess, or a video game. Others enjoy working jigsaw puzzles or crossword puzzles. Offer to play your loved one’s favorite game with him or her.  Even if you lose, you’ll be a winner!

6. The gift of doing a favor. Do favors for the people on your Christmas list. Help with the cleaning, take someone to the doctor, run to the store for someone, empty the dishwasher, cook his favorite dish, brush off the snow on her car. This gift is more valuable when it anticipates a request rather than when it responds to one.

7. The gift of a cheerful disposition. Try to be cheerful around those you love. This means no complaining, no whining, no feeling sorry for yourself, no negative comments, no pessimistic remarks. Your gift of cheerfulness will be a precious gift for everyone–including yourself.

8. The gift of being left alone. Sometimes we want nothing more than to be left alone. Become sensitive to these times in others’ lives. Then respond by giving them the gift of solitude, of privacy, of “do not disturb,” of being left alone.

9. The gift of a compliment. Pay your loved ones compliments. A simple “You look good in blue” or “You did a great job” or “I’m proud of you” or “I like your hair that way” or “Great supper, Honey” can mean a lot to people who may feel they are being overlooked or taken for granted.

10. The gift of prayer. Take time to pray for the people on your shopping list, and then let them know you prayed for them. Praying for someone is another way of telling them, “You mean so much to me that I often talk to God about you!”

Do you have any other suggestions for precious gifts that don’t cost a cent?


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  1. David Batsche on December 3, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Dear Sister,

    Thank you so much for your writings. It was great to finally get to meet you, and I really enjoyed hearing you speak at St. Anne’s.

    Warmest regards,

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on December 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Dear Dave, And I enjoyed meeting you last Saturday in Kentucky! I’m always glad to meet a “real reader” of mine. Thanks again! Melannie

  2. Dion on December 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

    You didn’t mention Scrabble! Let’s set a date…once you get rested a bit from your last trip. OK? Thanks.

    I love your reflection – so simple, so practical, so much the gifts you give all the time.

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on December 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

      How could I have forgotten to mention “Scrabble” under playing game? I’ll email you about setting another Scrabble date. Thanks, Dion! Melannie

  3. Mo on December 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Loved these suggestions, Melannie.. All so doable and love you too ! Mo

  4. Mary Day on December 3, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Sr. Melannie,

    My suggestion is:”Thank You” … to you for a reflection that is a gift to me today. May I thank God for giving us His holy love through you and the people placed in my path. May I develop a greater attitude of gratitude.



  5. Julie on December 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I enjoy your Monday reflections, especially your practical approach! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. Blessings,
    Julie, OSB

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on December 4, 2012 at 10:51 am

      And thank you for reading my blog, Julie. Where would I be without my readers? Melannie

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