The true meaning of Christmas

5 ways to be cheap, cheerful and impactful this Christmas. 

I don’t exactly like the word ‘cheap’ – but it goes with cheerful… What I mean is be ‘financially enlightened’ this Christmas. We have worked hard at RedBalloon to ensure that we have something for everyone’s budget – to make sure we have in our range of experiences the sort of gift that you give to your child’s school teacher and even for Secret Santa.

Regardless of religion, Christmas and the end of the year is a time to be thankful for family and friends, for the year that was, and the year that approaches.

Gratitude and thankfulness are at the core of living a happy life. I urge you to be real in your message. Take a moment to really notice those around you.

The true meaning of Christmas

The best gift you can give is your time.

Gratitude makes such a difference to our happiness and it costs so little – aside from your time and a willingness to be participate. Try these ways of kick-starting a campaign to say thank you five times every day:

1) Write it in a letter – or in an email; on a card; in a text message; the back of an envelope; or a fortune cookie. Put it in writing, make it personal, make the effort.

2) Use your words – say it face-to-face and say it from the heart. Extra points if you call someone instead of texting, and make actual contact rather than leaving a voicemail.

Make the time to catch up with friends.

3) Make a mental note – at the end of every day, instead of thinking about all you have to do, count your blessings. Reflect on that which you have (not lack) in your life, and feel good about it – and let those people know.

4) Volunteer – give your time for free to help out a worthy cause. Studies show that regular volunteers live longer, are less likely to experience depression and are more satisfied with life.

5) Share a ‘Good Time’ – (okay, so clearly I have a vested interest in this one – but you see my point). Good times shared and the memories made are worth more than a piece of ‘stuff’ gathering dust in the corner. Sharing good times doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, below are a few suggestions for making the most of your ‘together time’ this festive season.

This article was originally published on naomisimson.com