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Why a couple of hours is more valuable than a gift card

By in Press Enterprise on October 29, 2017

By Tami Sipos

The coming months of gift-giving holidays are on the way and we are tasked again with figuring out what to put on our gift list. How do we find a good and fitting gift for a person who already seems to have all that they need?

This situation is common when we are thinking of gifts for our parents and grandparents. Some on our gift list may even be in the process of paring down their “stuff” to move to a retirement community or in with their children.

Giving and receiving gifts is so hard-wired into our holiday season traditions that it can be very difficult to make a change. It is always fun to receive a gift, especially if it is all wrapped up with a bow. When the gift recipient is a senior and is faced with downsizing and passing on their belongings, selecting a suitable present can be a challenge.

One of the most amazing gifts you can give is a gift of time. You cannot assign a dollar value to your time — it is priceless. Since time is in such finite supply, it is sometimes the hardest thing to give, but consider the difference between the following ways to give the same gift:

Gift cards to the movies or taking someone to the movies.

Food storage containers or a day spent organizing in the kitchen.

Airplane tickets to visit a family member or accompanying someone to visit the family member.

How does your gift of time relate to the happiness to the receiver?

Your gift of time actually nurtures the happiness of the receiver more than a gift in a box. The Hedonic Treadmill is a theory that states, in part, that people quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. The […]    

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