It's The Thought That Counts: 14 Gifts That Won't…

No matter what is happening in life, the holiday season manages to bring out the best in people.

When we were younger, Christmas seemed to be all about presents and a hefty man climbing down the chimney to eat cookies we baked, but as we get older, the meanings shift.

Now, we work or go to school or spend time doing things we need to get done. This means less time with family and loved ones.

The holidays allow us to come together and spend valuable time, which is wonderful, but if you’re like me, this year, you’re balling on a budget.

The great thing is you can manage to gift presents everyone, including family and friends, will appreciate, such as:

Give Your Time

Time is more valuable than we think, and one of the greatest gifts you can give this season is time. Take an hour or three to spend with your mother, father or siblings and let them know you care.

You may not even realize, but the gift of time together might be the best you can give.

Give A Candy Cane

Grab a few candy canes off the Christmas tree and take them with you to give out. Something as small as this can still brighten someone’s day.

Hand Out Treats To The Homeless

Get in your cabinet and pull out those brownies you’ve been meaning to bake. Instead of eating them yourself, go to the local shelter or street where you see homeless people gathered and hand them out.

Many people who are homeless receive nothing, so focus on the selfless act of giving kindness.

Give Your Friends Thoughtful Christmas Cards

Instead of the latest Mac lipstick or Apple product, write out a thoughtful Christmas card to your friends. Letting them know how special they are may be better than any other gift they get this holiday season.

Take Someone To See Your Favorite Christmas Lights

There’s nothing better about the holidays than the lights and decorations. Take your friends, significant other or siblings to see your favorite Christmas displays around your city.

Help Your Dad Prepare The Turkey

Yes, you know Dad wants to handle this all on his own, but give him a hand. Glaze the turkey and let him relax with his favorite brew, or do it together and spend some time with your old man. He’ll appreciate this more than you think.

Set The Table For Your Mom

I mean, she’s already stressed. Help ease the load by grabbing the good china carefully and setting the table for everyone. It will help her stress levels, which will make it a better Christmas for everyone.

Bring The Wine For Your Aunt

We all have a bottle of red wine collecting dust, so you may as well bring it to the holiday dinner and help everyone have a merry Christmas. Not only will the adults appreciate it, but now, they for sure can’t say, “No drinking for you.”

Listen To Your Uncle’s Stories

They are the same stories from last year, but grab a glass of that wine you bought and listen. It will give you guys a chance to catch up and you’ll probably be named his new favorite niece or nephew.

Bake A Cake for Grandma

Though Grandma is the overseer of food, this year, bring your own dish and surprise her. This will help ease her load with the food and you can proudly say all night you contributed to the holiday dinner.

Ask Your Family What’s New

It sounds crazy, but some people go a long time without being asked what’s going on with them.

One of the greatest gifts is caring and letting people know you care. Although they may go on for hours and hours, at least you get to catch up on what’s new in their lives, and I promise, it will make them feel so happy to know you care.

Pick Up the Wrapping Paper Trash

While all the presents are being unwrapped, take a second to grab a trash bag and pick up the wrapping paper. Your parents worked hard at wrapping the gifts, so help them out by grabbing the trash.

Add “Happy Holidays” To The End Of Each Sentence

When you leave the store or hang up the phone, make sure to wish everyone “Happy Holidays.” This little saying may be nothing to you, but can mean everything to a stranger.

Let Your Loved Ones Know You Love Them

Expressing your appreciation and love for your family and friends means more than you know. The time we are able to spend together this holiday season is very vital. Let everyone know how much you love them.

The gift of love is more valuable than anything you can tangibly give.