I hate holiday gifts. Or should I say, I hate it when people bustle busily, giving gifts just because everyone else is, only to contribute to what eventually becomes a pile of daily clutter. Rather than getting lost in a frenzy of wishlists, sales, and holiday editions, we should instead turn our efforts at giving meaningful gifts: gifts that can genuinely impact life for the better in lasting and profound ways. I’ve rounded up 6 things that might do just that.
With the New Year around the corner, one of the best gifts to give is a tool to ensure that the coming year is the most fulfilling one yet.
1. Five-Minute Journal
The Five Minute Journal has been a true life-changer. After a year of using this, I feel so much happier and more grounded. Touted as a “toothbrush for the mind,” this journal trains your thought patterns to focus on a growth mindset of gratitude and positivity. I’ve tried so many journals, and this one is the only one that not only I’ve been able to stick to, but that has drastically changed my life for the better.
2. Productivity Planner
For those who are undertaking a big project, struggling with the procrastination bug, or interested in working even more efficiently, the Productivity Planner is your key to success. Since using this, I have learned so much about myself and my work habits, and have found myself working ever more frequently in a state of flow.
Instead of giving objects, consider giving your loved ones experiences. Do something together, and make memories that last a lifetime.
3. 15 minute timer from The School of Life
Time is the most valuable resource we have. When left unmeasured, it slips away faster than quicksand. We all say that we are so busy, but most of us waste 15 minutes a day (on the Internet) anyways. Set this timer and in that 15 minutes, call a loved one, read a book, learn a new language, take a walk, or write a story… Those minutes will add up over a lifetime. The simple choice to use 15 minutes a day on something meaningful (or not) will have outstanding effects. This timer will help and remind you.
Spending quiet and thoughtful time playing a game with someone is one of the most meaningful gifts we can give. Quoridor is an elegantly simple game with infinite possibilities, perfect for anyone who enjoys chess, cards, or something equally smart, classic, and endlessly entertaining. The best part is that this award-winning game can be enjoyed by 2 or 4 players at once. I, for one, will be playing Quoridor by the fire this Christmas.
Ours is the age of the instantaneous and fragmented. In our daily interactions, we go only an inch deep, barely scratching the surface. It is therefore all the more vital that we hit pause and go deep as much and as often as we can.
5. The Best of Poetry: Thoughts that Breathe and Words that Burn
Poems are well-suited particularly for our day and age because they offer the rare chance to smell the roses while also being short enough to fit into our hectic schedules. For those who don’t know where to start, this anthology is a fantastic point of departure. It offers accessible and powerful masterpieces from across the ages, sorted conveniently into themes such as “solitude,” “love,” “nature,” and much more. I take my poems as a sort of medicine, choosing to read one or another based on what I need in that moment.
6. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
For those looking for a longer read, Sapiens has hands-down my number one recommendation. If you do not read anything else, read this. It will shift the way you look at the history, present, and future of humanity in profound, life-changing ways. This is non-fiction at its best: story-telling that transcends literature and a message for every member of humankind.