It can be challenging – and expensive – to fill every wish list for your loved ones, friends, teachers, neighbours and others during the holiday season. It can be especially challenging to find gifts for children or elderly relatives or neighbours that won’t end up in the Goodwill pile a year later, or unused or unopened at all.
A creative alternative, and more rewarding for both the giver and receiver, is to give gifts of your time and talent. Gifts to local sights and cultural events also make great gifts for a unique experience and even once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Children will appreciate the special time and unique event as it is something their own parents may not have the time or energy to do with them. Elderly relatives and friends will enjoy the opportunity to do something new, or something they “used to do,” as a reminder of the activities they may no longer be able to get to on their own due to physical or transportation barriers.
Unwrapping a box with a homemade coupon book filled with activities and events to share together will last the following year and provide meaningful memories for both of you. Whether it is a year of theatre shows and museums, monthly baking days together, a home cooked meal at a family member’s home or seasonal outdoor activities like a hike or sledding can fit many ages and will create loving memories and deeper relationships with family and friends
Other ideas include:
- Local theater or arts: plays, concerts, museums, seminars or events
- Home baked meals, cookies, or favorite dishes
- Homemade cards, small gifts and crafts
- Pick up an elderly relative for a morning or afternoon at your house
- Coffee and pastries with a neighbor
- Photobook with pictures of loved ones and places
- Weekly walks with neighbors or friends
- Exercise classes at local community center or pool
- Offers of service: cleaning, meals, babysitting or a second set of hands (great for new parents or parents with young children)
- Local farmers markets trips
- Volunteer together to help others
Charity donations to an organization or group that is meaningful, or in memory of a loved one, can benefit the giver, receiver and the needy. Donations and volunteers are needed all year round, so follow up later in the year with a volunteer opportunity.
By giving of your time, you will enrich the relationship with your loved ones, friends and neighbors. Spread the holiday cheer with a gift of experiences – unlike anything else they will receive this holiday season.
Beth Mayotte, OTR/L, CWCE
Live Your LifeTM
Bringing Physical Therapy & Wellness to You!
Beth Mayotte graduated with a B.A. in Occupational Therapy from St. Catherine University in 1997. Following internships in Berkeley and Fremont CA, Beth worked in Abiliene, Texas in inpatient rehab servicing 19 counties. Beth was part of an interdisciplinary team that treated spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and general orthopaedic and neurologic diagnoses.
Beth returned to MN in 2001 to work in various settings including long-term care, transitional care, and acute care. Starting in 2007, she worked in a non-traditional outpatient clinic utilizing a Postural Restoration perspective on land and in the pool. Working from a Postural Restoration perspective, Beth also utilized Graston techniques, modalities, balance and strength training, and pool therapy to help the client achieve their goals and maximum physical abilities.
In addition to Live Your Life PT, Beth currently works for Blankenheim Services LLC and is contracted at manufacturing sites, providing onsite ergonomic assessments and Rehab Response Services to employees both on the factory floor and in office environments.
Beth loves the freedom and flexibility her career as an Occupational Therapist has provided her and her family. She also loves the ability to partner closely with the client to achieve their goals, support them, and witness their journey to improved health and independence.