5 Gifts to Share in 2018 (That Won't Cost You a Dime)

As the holiday season winds down and we catch our breath and gear up for a fresh new year, here are five gifts that won’t cost you a dime but can make the richest difference in the lives of those you give them to. 

Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #460

3. Break Bread Together

I’ve long been a fan of sharing as many family meals together as possible. Even if you can’t break bread together five nights a week, committing to enjoying regular family meals (it can be breakfast or even dessert) is a healthy gift for all of you. When a family sits down together, it helps them handle the stresses of daily life and the hassles of day-to-day existence. It’s a time for everyone to connect, and you needn’t fuss over a five-course meal—casseroles, lasagna, a hearty soup with salad—it gives everyone a chance to get centered, be together, and regroup before a hectic night of homework or other activities.

See Also: 5 Tips to Make Family Meal Planning Easier

4. Gift a New Tradition

The holidays are the time of traditions, especially if families have handed them down from generation to generation. It’s an easy time of year to embrace things like baking your great grandmother’s Christmas gingerbread cookies, lighting the menorah that’s been in the family for decades, or serving Aunt Edna’s famous sage stuffing.

Traditions can be big or small, but they differ from routines and habits in that they are done with a specific purpose in mind and require thought to make them special. If your family is rich in traditions, that’s great, continue to enjoy those and they’ll most likely be passed along to your own kids. If not, start the new year off by thinking about a new tradition you can start adding in to your family’s life, and it doesn’t have to be a holiday tradition. In my previous episode on ways to create family traditions, I discuss creating everyday rituals. There are many things you do daily that, if done consistently, can become cherished rituals that your kids will lovingly pass onto their own children. This can be bedtime related, or an after-school routine that can be comforting to your kids before they start up with homework, or even popcorn and movies every Friday night.  

See Also:  6 Ways to Create a Happier Family Life

5. Get Organized

I’ve saved the best for last, and this gift is one you can start at any time of the year, but is obviously the choice of many for a New Year’s resolution—get organized. When people ask me how I’ve kept my sanity while raising eight kids so close in age, I have two answers—routines and being organized. (If you include wine, make it three!)

An organized home is a happy home! There have been many studies done about the benefits, both physically and mentally, of being organized. One study sited in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin explains that women who live in a home that is cluttered along with endless projects that never seem to get completed experience far more stress and depression than women who have their house in order, resulting in a calming, more peaceful existence.

I’m in total agreement with that study! When you have an organized environment in which to raise your family, you can simply breathe easier, especially when a crisis hits or you’re always running from one errand and activity to another. It not only makes you feel more calm when your home is organized, but when you’re rushed to find something, in an organized home you can put your hands right on it.

Getting organized can be a family affair and teaches your kids a wonderful, lifelong habit if they participate and learn to take care of their own things as well.

What meaningful gifts will you share with your family this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT

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All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.