People ask, “How do you create and maintain strong family ties?” “How can you bond and stay connected to your kids at every age?” “How do you draw closer to your spouse rather than drift away?” “How do you keep a friendship fresh?”
Let’s do an experiment which will give us some answers to keeping your family unit and friendships strong. Get out a piece of paper and write down all of the Christmas and birthday gifts that you received as a child up until you moved out of the house. Take all the time you need, no pressure!
How many did you come up with? Now, grab another piece of paper and write down all of your favorite memories of vacations or times spent together as a family or time spent with friends, when you were a kid. Again, take your time. I’ll be right here when you are done.
Ok. Now, I bet this list was longer wasn’t it? Which list? The list of memories made. Yep, we have just proved what is most valuable to us. Memories made, trump gifts given. So with that in mind, why do we go crazy trying to get our kids, loved ones, and friends the latest and greatest gifts at Christmas or for their birthdays when it really doesn’t hold a candle to just hanging out together? And why do we work overtime for extra cash to buy something for someone who would rather just be with us?
But wait, spend time with me, you say? You mean the people in my life would rather just be with me? Yep. That may take a little convincing, huh? You’re probably thinking they’d rather have the stuff. Don’t believe it! See, somewhere along the way we bought into the idea that we are not good enough to spend time with. Come on, how many times have you wondered, Would my best friend prefer a Christmas gift or the gift of being together? Does my teenager really want to go to a game with me? Would she really prefer going to a movie with me over buying her a new pair of jeans? Does my five year old really dig reading a bedtime story with me instead of playing one more round of Mario Cart?
I bet your parents had the same questions. And they may have had the same thoughts. Go back to your list. Do the math. There’s your answer. Investing time in relationships rather than investing money in gifts draws you closer to the ones you love. Your return on investment will close the gaps you may have opened with gifts. It will also give your family and friends some great memories that will last a lifetime longer than the stuff you could buy them.
1. Find an activity that you both enjoy.
2. If you can’t find one you BOTH enjoy, then find one that you kinda both enjoy!
3. If you can’t find an activity that you kinda both enjoy, then try an activity that’s new to both of you that you might come to enjoy!
Your time: It’s cheaper, better, and longer lasting. No brainer. Ditch the gifts and make the memories.
Remember when… 😉