Rethinking the Holiday Wish List: It’s Hard to Beat the Gift of Time

Each year when asked what I want for Christmas, I struggle to find an answer.  Sure there are beautiful, luxurious, sparkly, and even useful things I admire. However, my life is full and I don’t “need” for much. Thus, I tend to request “things” that are wearing out and need to be replaced anyways.  That list typically includes wool socks, running shoes, and slippers.  I am always grateful, as I use these items every day, but the gift givers always seem uninspired with my predictability.

I am finding myself frazzled and less festive, but yet more sentimental this year (I have been care taking more recently). As I was working on upcoming posts about gratitude and self-care, I had an idea! For Christmas this year, my wish is to enhance my quality of life with:  companionship, help, and adventure.


I love spending time with my entire family, but I especially treasure one on one time.  One of my favorite memories was when I spent a day in the city with my youngest child and visited the Gingerbread House and Festival of Trees, went out to eat, wandered through the shops (mostly looking at the decorations), and attended the symphony.  It was so much fun that now every year I  look forward to finding a way to recreate a similar day with them.  I would like to have a day like this with each of my family members, doing the thing that just the two of us uniquely love. So, this year I am asking for the gift of time, with the promise of a future one-on-one activity rather than an item under the tree.


Ideas for help include:

  • My children doing their chores without me having to ask.
  • Someone driving my kids, so I can take a break from being a taxi.
  • My family pitching in and making dinner together, again without me asking.
  • Someone taking over one of my weekly chores.

No tangible item can show “I was thinking of you” for me like someone filling in my shoes without being asked.


I can get lost in the roles of mom, employee, daughter, caregiver, friend, and volunteer.  I forget sometimes about thrill and adventure; about trying new things.  I need to be reminded from time to time that I can also be silly, creative, a workout warrior, an explorer, and even a free spirit. However, I will rarely spend money on myself for things that fit in these categories.  Remembering my love of adventure but pairing that with my frugality reminds me that having enough time is not the only roadblock to more adventure in my life.  Thus, this year my wish list has “activities and adventures” on it.  That may be a gift card for some yoga or kickboxing classes, a promise of a hiking adventure, a progressive dinner to different local spots with a friend, an art class, or a geocaching outing.  I would love for someone to gift me a fun experience.


So this year, instead of boxes under the tree, I am hoping for wishes on the star.  Will I be brave enough to actually share my wish list when asked what I want for Christmas? I hope so.  If nothing else, I hope I inspire someone else to consider new ideas for what gifts can mean… experiences and time can sometimes be even more valuable than items.  Also, maybe this will inspire you, gift givers, to treat someone in your life to some pampering, some quiet time, some friend time, a date, or an adventure.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!


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