When giving gifts or spending your own money, remember that experiences create deeper and longer lasting pleasure than any object you can buy.
In a world preoccupied with the quest for material possessions, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the most valuable things we own are our best memories. Good memories are the gift that keeps on giving. They help us smile, feel proud, and re-experience the pleasure of past times.
Looked at through the soft lens of sentiment, even the memory of cranky relatives and family traditions that bored or annoyed us at the time can be heartwarming links with our past.
But whether your memories of the holiday season conjure up good feelings and happy sounds, smells, and tastes, or negative feelings filled with disappointments, resentments, and grudges, I hope you’ll resolve this year to consciously create lasting good memories for yourself and those you care about.
Although few of us remember what we gave or got last year or the year before, most of us still place great emphasis on the process of giving and getting gifts.
Don’t worry so much about what to buy your family and friends; think more about what you want to give them.
Think beyond the synthetic atmosphere of the mall. Prefabricated decorations and gift certificates are not the stuff of lasting recollections. Think about the feelings you want to create.
The best memories are made out of simple stuff — homemade food, handmade gifts, heartfelt letters, good conversations, games, and heirlooms.
Highlight and celebrate old traditions and consciously create new ones. You’ll be glad you did — for a long time.
This is Michael Josephson wishing you a very happy holiday season and reminding you that character counts.
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