In a society preoccupied with the quest for material possessions, it’s easy to overlook the fact that our most valuable possessions are our best memories.
Good memories are a form of wealth. They are not simply something we own, they become part of who we are. Through our memories we can literally re-live and re-experience past pleasures.
So, if you want to give a gift that truly keeps on giving, use the opportunities of holiday gatherings to give good memories.
And don’t overemphasize the importance of gifts. Sure, an especially thoughtful gift may create an enduring memory, but most of our best memories have nothing to do with the presents we receive.
What we remember are the feelings, sounds, smells and tastes of the entire holiday celebration.
You can’t buy great memories in the mall or online. The experience of receiving a gift delivered by FedEx and opened in private can never rival the pleasure of anticipation, guessing, and unwrapping mysterious boxes in the presence of gift-givers who are equally excited.
Think about the atmosphere you want to create. Celebrate old traditions and create new ones — about the food you prepare, the music you play, the gift-giving rituals you adopt, and how you decorate the Christmas tree or light the Hanukkah candles.
And involve children whenever possible. No matter how corny or annoying kids think a family tradition is, it’s almost certain that those homemade experiences will be among their most treasured memories.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.