At this time of year, you can easily be overwhelmed by the pressure to buy, get, respond and participate—all in the spirit of the holidays. Don't let yourself be taken. Instead, give. And give only what comes directly from your spirit. You can offer so much that costs little or nothing. What you give of yourself is priceless. Here are a few of my favorite gift ideas for the holidays and all year long:

  • Make a list of the people you really care about, then send each a handwritten note saying why you do.
  • Look up someone from your past who has made an impression on you, then surprise that person with a phone call or note.
  • Bake a cake and drop it off at a nursing home. Or make some cookies and invite someone who will be alone for the holidays to share them with you.
  • Put a surprise in your child's lunchbox every Tuesday—or pick your own day. You can also include a love note or a funny picture.
  • For the 12 days before Christmas, do a family countdown by performing a random act of kindness each day. Every night at the dinner table, have each family member share what he or she did that day.

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