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  December 14, 2012
The Perfect Gift...

 


Unless you’re Mayan, Christmas will soon be upon us... (if you do happen to be Mayan... pay no attention to this blog as the world, as you know it, will end a few days prior to Christmas). 
  
Tis’ the season to spend time with friends and loved ones... time to decorate the house or apartment with evergreens, ribbons, lights, candy canes, bows, and candles... time to exchange gifts and tidings of joy...

At the office, we’re busy putting final touches on the year... filling last minute orders... and making big plans for the upcoming new year (or at least creating a budget for our big plans).

With our day-to-day business winding down, it gives us time for those "special projects" that we’ve been putting off the last few months. We work furiously on big projects... like that new smart-phone app, the new website launch, or that multi-media proposal for that big new client. 

We have the time to box up and store old files while making room for the new files of the upcoming year.   Time is now to upgrade our computer and/or phone systems...

Although I know that Christmas always falls on the same day each year, December 25th always seems to creep up on me... at first I think that there is plenty of time to get everything done... but then out of nowhere it’s December 13th... the twelve days of Christmas are here!!

The lights in the yard still need to be arranged... the stockings need to be hung on the fireplace... a tree needs to be purchased, trimmed and adorned... cookies and fudge need to be made...

Like Santa, we make a list of people we need to buy gifts for. Gifts for our family... gifts for our close friends... gifts for the folks at the office... and gifts for the people who work all year to make our lives a bit better... like our housekeeper, our children’s teachers, the newspaper boy and the gardener.

They all deserve a small token of our appreciation... just to show them that we care about them... so we need to buy them a meaningful and heartfelt gift.

As we trudge off to the mall, we are kicking ourselves knowing full well that if we had not have waited so long, we could have done all of our shopping while seated comfortably at our office desk...

We could have avoided the crowded parking lots, the long lines, and the wrath and ire of frantic last-minute shoppers scurrying through the malls and super-stores.

Oh... but December 13th is much too late for that... we’ll need to go out and brave the crowds in order to find that perfect gift for everyone on our list...

If we only knew what everyone really truly wanted...

As we stroll up and down the endless aisles looking for divine gift inspiration... we think to ourselves that there needs to be a better method.

Then an incredible idea pops into our heads... and idea that will solve all of our gift giving problems... GIFT CARDS!!

With gift cards, the gift buying onus will be squarely placed upon the giftee not the gifter... they then can purchase whatever their heart truly desires...

With one stop to the gift card carousel and a packet of Christmas greeting cards, our problems are now solved!

Nothing says, "Merry Christmas"... like a gift card (with the exception of perhaps cash) in a generic greeting card.

Now perhaps we need to all take a deep breath and step back for a moment... and reconsider this gift buying thing...

Maybe I’m just getting old and cynical, but it seems to me that when we stoop to giving out gift cards, the idea of Christmas giving seems to be a bit tarnished...

Sorry... this is just how I feel about it.

Over the years, I have adopted somewhat of a different philosophy to Christmas gift giving. For me, Christmas is no longer relegated to simply one day out of the year.

Christmas for me is now a 365-day event (366 this year)...

By changing my paradigm, I no longer feel pressure to find the perfect gifts for my friends and family just so they can open them on December 25th.

Instead, I try to think of ways to spread joy to my friends and loved ones throughout the entire year... giving meaningful, generous, and thoughtful gifts... some that cost a fair amount of money... some that cost no money at all... but that are still very much appreciated...

Some of the gifts I’ve given over the last year include: 

  • Tickets to sporting events, plays and/or concerts              
  • A great bottle of wine and/or tequila
  • Taking someone to lunch or dinner at their favorite restaurant
  • Bringing them fresh flowers to brighten their office or house 
  • Returning from San Francisco with several loaves of fresh sourdough bread
  • Ordering extra copies of a good book that I’ve recently read to give to others
  • Spending my Saturday to set up someone’s computer and wireless network
  • A ride to/from the airport - even if it’s early in the morning or late at night
  • An iPhone upgrade (they weren’t eligible... so I gave them my upgrade)
  • A donation to their favorite charity or cause (regardless if I personally believe in their cause or not)
  • Helping someone to move
  • Sitting for hours listening to a friend going through a hurtful break-up
  • Being a math/science tutor for a struggling child
  • Posting bail for a friend 

The list could go on for several pages but I think that you get the idea...

Most of these items can’t be purchased with a gift card... they are gifts of the heart... be it in December or June...

I believe that this is the true spirit of giving... giving of yourself... putting others first... and helping others when no one else will...

... not to enrich department stores or help the economy by racking up debt.

Christmas is a time to share laughter surrounded by family and friends... it’s a time to appreciate what we have and remember all those who go without... it’s a time to celebrate the season be it religious or secular...

May your days be joyous and your nights be silent...

Thank you for your support of OptiFuse, where we wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and peace to all the people of the world... each and every day of the year...

 

Jim Kalb
President
jimk@optifuse.com
www.optifuse.com

www.optifuse.blogspot.com (blog archive)


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