Things do bring instant gratification, but not long-lasting happiness. We keep buying more things to keep feeling good. Sometimes we use things to ease unresolved pain and issues. We continue to accumulate debt, but are still left unfulfilled and discontented. In the end, these things end up in the hands of family or a professional to sell them.
Want to feel fulfilled? Make a Difference!
- Dress the less fortunate by sorting your clothing, shoes, etc. and donating what you don’t use. Do the same with surplus items in your food pantry.
- Bust the clutter in your attics and garages. So much that you have laying around can be used by someone in need. Find the appropriate organizations and give your clutter away.
- Practice the art of giving.
- Refrain from unnecessary purchases for at least six months.
Time’s running out for Christmas shopping, your debt is growing, and you still don’t know what to buy for certain people on your list. What to do?
Why buy anything?
Why not give the best gift in the world — yourself?
- Go visit someone you have been meaning to see for a long time. Surprise a loved one you haven’t seen for years.
- Write that letter, bake those cookies.
- Volunteer for those needing your help or visit shut-ins.
- Make that phone call to make amends with family and friends you haven’t spoken with in years.
- Bring your children to an assisted living or nursing home, and watch the residents light up. Have your children draw pictures and then visit and sing for those in shelters or facilities.
- Say what you need to say, and do so right now.
- Ask for forgiveness and always offer it … no matter what.
- Offer hugs to those who really need it.
- Make gifts for everyone on your list.
- Listen to your elders because you will learn so much.
Do you have a senior on your list and you don’t know what to give them?
- Spend a full day with them and ask them to share stories of your family history — fun stories, challenges, family secrets, marriages, customs — and look through old photos. Record this day and create a book for them (with copies for your family members), so it may be passed down for years to come. Many children regret not having more family history, but realize this only after the loved one has died.
- Find a special photograph and frame it. Ask an elder for a secret family recipe, so it can be carried on; then make it for them.
When we think of the upcoming holidays, we also need to be counting the multitude of blessings we do have, rather than wishing for the ones we don’t have. Make it a special holiday for others, and it will come back to you, in the form of contentment and joy — both in giving and in receiving.
©2014 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.
No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent. Email her at Julie@TheEstateLady.com.