Senior Finance: Redefine Gift Giving

Dec 6th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Senior Finances

Gift giving at holiday times has been a tradition for many years.  We senior citizens have experienced it all our lives, so we’re talking about at least 100 years; history suggests gift-giving goes back several millennia.  And with the introduction of the credit card, many of us buy gifts irregardless of our finances because we want to tell someone how important they are to us, and we have the notion that giving an expensive gift is the way to do that.

So we buy gifts for our parents, our children and grandchildren, spouse/partner, special friends–new and old.  We buy gifts for a grab bag at a holiday party, because the invitation told us to do so.  And, once in a while, we walk by a Christmas tree with stocking notices on it containing names of children whose only gifts for Christmas will be what you choose to purchase, if you follow the directions on the stocking.

I’m thinking somehow this is all bass-ackwards.  Gift-giving should not be an annual chore that you complete because you are supposed to.  It should not be a ritual you follow because that’s what you’ve always done.  The spirit of Christmas and Hanukkah and the other religious celebrations we recognize this time of year is a spirit of joyful love and light from the heart. 

I submit to you that gift-giving can be an expression of your desire to give back to a world that has provided so much for you.  And that may mean you choose to give gifts to specific individuals because you want to express your desire to ‘give back’ to them. If so, make it meaningful.

Or it may mean you choose to give a gift to a needy person or family, in honor of your friends and family, because that’s how you want to express your affection for them.  By honoring them in this way.

Or it may mean you make a donation to one of many non-profit organizations around the world that help feed and clothe children and families and teach their parents how to make a sustainable living.

There are a lot of options out there, senior friends.  Make this holiday the most meaningful one ever!



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