Is it the thought that counts?

My idea of gift giving getting smaller is this: Spend less money. That's not exactly a novel concept. But the trade off to spending less may also mean more work for you - more time, more effort, more thought may have to be put into the gift, in order for the gift to be meaningful. In order for a gift to be appreciated, it should mean something, either to the giver or the receiver, and then it is one that will be forever treasured. A gift without meaning is destined only for eBay or the garbage dump.

I remember my mother accepting some really odd (i.e. tacky) gift from a neighbor one year and commenting (afterward, of course), "What the hell was she thinking, giving us this?" My mom's comment stuck with me for three reasons: First, because we never expected a gift from a neighbor, second, we'd never have thought less of her for not giving us a gift, and third, it spoke volumes about what she really thought about us. In simple words, we weren't worth the effort.

Some people say, "It's the thought that counts." But I disagree. It only counts if you put some thought into it. I'm not an advocate of buying a gift for gift-giving's sake. Instead of spending more money this year, just put more of yourself into your gifts.

Consider the gleam in a child's eye when you give him a dollar or two to buy a gift for someone else. He takes his time searching the aisles for the perfect present. All of the suggestions you make are shot down with deadly aim, and your efforts to steer him towards a more "appropriate" gift are promptly thwarted. And the presentation of the gift is a large part of it; it must be wrapped up just so. It may still be a dollar store piece of junk to most people, but to the recipient, who knows how much effort that kid put into its purchase, it's a treasure. Few mothers, for example, ever part with the first special gifts from their children - whether they're bought with a dollar or made with little hands.

With just a little money and a lot of ingenuity or imagination there are plenty of wonderful gifts that can be bought. For many of us who are finding that we're more cash-poor than we've ever been at holiday time, it may be time to think of the most important thing that you can offer beside cash, and that is your time. Likely, that will involve the offer of a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen with, or merely a hand to hold on to. Those things cost you hardly anything, but to someone else in need, they are absolutely precious.

DebtStoppers bankruptcy and debt relief attorneys would like to offer you something equally as precious: The gift of our time and experience. We want to help you make this the last holiday season where you will worry about your finances, or struggle with a high debt burden or too many credit cards. Contact us, either by phone or through this internet link, and let us help you by making an appointment to visit with one of our DebtStoppers bankruptcy and debt relief attorneys to talk about what the future may hold for you.

If you're looking for something that you can put under your tree, click here for the DebtStoppers Debt Relief Tool Kit. You won't find anything remotely resembling household improvement tools like a wrench, hammer or pliers. But what you will find are tools of another sort - the kind that benefits your bank account- brochures offering our expertise and advice on bankruptcy, investing, saving, beating the recession and giving yourself a raise with money you didn't even know you had to spare.

You will find that DebtStoppers may very well be the best gift you could ever give to someone who really needs it: Yourself.

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