For many people around the world, it’s a time to give and receive gifts. The spirit of sharing is something that brings families and friends together, but you can also give yourself a gift to enrich your own life. Investing in your education, subscribing to a professional journal to help you advance your career, signing up for that yoga class you’ve been thinking about, or just taking a day off of work are all things you can do for yourself. When it comes to your own health and well-being, it’s no time to be ungenerous.
Today’s word is one that you’ve probably heard applied to Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge, the tight-fisted and selfish miser who learns to give. Parsimonious didn’t always have a negative meaning, though. While today it means “unwilling to spend money, miserly, stingy” the word originally referred to simply being thrifty and saving money. Holiday gift-giving, whether to yourself or others, doesn’t mean that you have to spend all of the money in your bank account, of course. Sometimes the smallest things are the ones that are most appreciated. Here are some examples of ways to share the wealth that won’t make you feel like a spendthrift*:
Read bedtime stories to your children, or volunteer at a local community kid’s center to help struggling readers. Literacy is key to helping children succeed in school and beyond, and they’ll be grateful that you’ve helped them discover the world of books.
Don’t forget that books make great gifts too! If you can’t think of a good book for kids your local library will have recommendations. Adults may appreciate a gift certificate to a bookstore instead so that they can pick out their own favorites.
Make time for yourself and you’ll have more time and energy to share with others. Studies have shown that even a brief nap or 15 minutes of meditation during the day will boost your mental state, and that’s something that helps make every holiday a happy one!
* spendthrift: someone who spends money recklessly, a profligate