The Gift of Your Time

Photo: Ben Earwicker
Photo: Ben Earwicker

This year I don’t want Christmas to “sneak up on me”, so I thought I’d make a Christmas Gift Calender – and share it with you πŸ™‚

Where I live in Greece, the weather is still very mild for this time of year, more like a first spring after the summer drought – hard to believe that Christmas is only a few weeks away. And AΓ― Basilis, the Greek version of Father Christmas, comes on New Year…

In order to jump-start myself – and perhaps you, too πŸ™‚ – I’ve decided on the following Theme of the Month for December: “The Gift of Your Time”.

On this page:
♣ The idea
♣ “Making time” vs. “Finding time”
♣ The 30 Day Christmas Gift Calender
♣ Today = Putting on the Sorting Hat

The idea

… is to spend a little time each day reserved exclusively for making a gift for someone.

I love making gifts for others because while doing that I can relax and connect with them in thoughts and feelings, so, in the end, gift-making-time is also me-time.

I don’t want to start stressing myself with have-to’s or should-do’s, so the first thing is to decide on how much time I can make. As I want to do this every day, the minimum amount of time has to be reasonably low so I can keep it up.

If I want to do more, fine – but I decide that this “overtime”

  • is voluntary
  • may neither be used for making up missed days, nor for working ahead
  • must remain fun and not turn into stress

You see, the idea is to really do a little bit every single day πŸ™‚

But the other important point is “connecting” – with the recipient of the gift, but also with my Self. That’s why I decided on a second “rule”: No multitasking during that Quiet Time! I don’t have TV anyway, but I tend to have lots of other stuff flitting through my mind, like what else I got to do today or tomorrow or next or…

I want to give a gift of love, not of stress or worry πŸ™‚

“Making time” vs. “Finding time”

“Made” time is far more likely to be used for what it’s intended – “finding time”, at least for me, usually means that what I wanted to do gets put on the back burner, until the back burner runs out of gas…

Made time is dedicated time. By making time I make a date I make with myself, and I give it high priority.

The 30 Day Christmas Gift Calender

Today is 20th November, more than 30 days until Christmas, but I need a couple of days to get organised, and I don’t want to stress myself – there are often other things that come up “last minute”.

I don’t believe in making plans (they tend to go wrong…), but I find flexible strategies very helpful for sorting my mind – and guiding my attention to what I can do and want to do.

And writing in down helps me to stop thinking about it or changing my mind until I’ve run out of time for doing it πŸ˜‰

It also helps me to discover whether I’m making gifts with love and joy, or from a feeling of obligation.

Today = Putting on the Sorting Hat

  • Deciding on how much Quiet Time I want to give to making gifts each day: I’ll go with half an hour, that’s 15 hours in 30 days.
  • Deciding for whom/how many people I want to make gifts with a time resource of 15 hours. Will it be a bigger gift for one person? Or would I rather make smaller gifts for a few people? Or very small gifts for many people? Or a mix? Are they gifts for single persons, or couples, or families?
  • Once I know that, I consider by when the gifts needs to be ready. Some gifts need to be shipped, hand-crafted cards to be posted.
  • With that in mind, I re-evaluate what I can do, time wise.

You might have noticed that I haven’t thought yet about what gifts I want to make. That will come tomorrow. For today, I focus only people and on the time available.

This way I program my mind to subconsciously zoom in on projects that are doable within the given time instead of resorting to wishful thinking. I give my mind time to come up with some nice suggestions tomorrow, when I ask it to πŸ˜‰

What do you think? Are you joining in?

If yes, then please feel free to download The 30 Day Christmas Gift Calender with worksheets – 10 pages, as a printable pdf.

I hope you’ll find this gift from me to you helpful πŸ™‚

Maria

Photo Credits:

Ben Earwicker
Garrison Photography, Boise, ID
http://www.garrisonphoto.org

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