With the holidays, we all seem to get caught up in getting “just the perfect gift” for everyone on our list. Let’s not forget: even though giving material gifts can be very caring and thoughtful, sometimes the best gift of all is just being there for those that are not able to come visit us.
When I was growing up, one of my fondest memories was visiting “folks”, who couldn’t get out to call on us, with my parents. As a young boy, I remember making home-made gifts and presenting these with much approval to those we were visiting. I certainly felt loved on these visits and looking back, I am quite certain that our visit just might have made the real positive difference in those individuals’ holiday. I have tried to carry on that tradition with children and grandchildren: visiting those who are unable to leave their home to visit with others.
An AARP study reports that 20-25% of all individuals over the age of 75 have some degree of limited activity that prevents them from freely visiting with others, outside of their home. In addition, seniors suffer a higher rate of depression during the holidays, many times due to lack of interaction with others. For seniors, unable to leave their home, a visit from friends, neighbors and family most likely will rank high on their “wish list” this year.
You never know what a blessing of goodwill you can be to someone else this holiday season. So be sure to add to your gift list “the gift of being there” this holiday season. One thing you can be sure of, your gift of visiting others will keep on giving for a very long time to come!
Happy Holidays and Happy Visiting!