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Blog: Organizing for Boomers
Gifts of Time

It's that time of year, when there is so much in the air it seems like a blizzard, even if one is blessed to live in non-cold climates. There's a buzz going on; the calendars are packed; the attics, trunks, or other hiding places are starting to bulge like an overweight Santa and everyone seems to be on too much caffeine from one too many stops at Starbucks or the local candy store.

Let's all take a deep breath.

And another one.

Don't forget to exhale.

This time of year should be one of family, friends, and festivities plus the religious celebrations that you practice. It should not be all about fatigue, frustration, and fattening calories.

Let's talk about pacing ourselves so we can finish the calendar year upright, happy, relaxed and balanced.

One way to do that is to look seriously at gifting. Instead of things and stuff, let's wrap our minds around gifts of time. Whether you are struggling to find the perfect gift for your aging parents or grandparents, or just that right item for much younger folks on your list, what many of us need and what many of us crave is more time.

Time with loved ones.

Time doing an activity we love.

Time sharing a past memory.

Time to exhale.

Let's look over our list of special people. What do they enjoy doing? If they are elderly, what are they capable of doing? Would someone on your list enjoy attending a play, a sporting event, a musical recital or movie coupons?

These make wonderful gifts for a variety of reasons: they don't take up physical space and add to the stuff of life, plus they give the recipient something to look forward to in the future, something for their calendar. For elderly folks, sometimes their calendars are full of various doctors' appointments and such. What a treat for them to receive play tickets to add to their upcoming calendar instead of dental work!

Not sure what date is going to work with everyone? If you know tickets will be available for some time, simply clip out the advertisement or make up a flyer of your own about the event, and create your own gift coupon. Wrap it in a medium-sized box, making it as festive as you have time to do.

Speaking of wrapping - a fun, economical way to wrap presents that children enjoy is to sponge paint the paper. All you need is plain wrapping paper with no designs, some sponges, scissors and paints in a few colors. Cut up the sponges in holiday shapes and set out the paint colors. Children and adults as well make their own wrapping paper by designing it just they way they want. Let painted papers dry thoroughly before wrapping gifts.

Maybe your parent(s) lives nearby and you can assist them so the holiday preparations are not too overwhelming for them. This might be sending out holiday greetings to their list of friends for them. Be sure and see my blog from last week where I suggested looking at Send Out Cards to get this job done efficiently. If you are swamped, suggest helping with a New Year's or Valentine greeting, instead of trying to fit that activity if you are on overload.

Are there some special photos you could put on a large calendar for the new year? All you need are 12 photos, one for each month. The neighboring Kinko's, UPS Store or office supply store can help you with this. Before you give the calendar gift you can put on it special dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. This is one of my sister-in-law's favorite gifts we have given her in the past. Sometimes we add thought bubbles or silly stickers to liven up the photos. The squares are large enough that the calendar can safely hold the upcoming dates of that special event and yes, even the dentist appointments.

This past month a very dear friend of mine lost her daughter to cancer after a very, valiant battle. She missed her very much at Thanksgiving and is trying to gear up for the Christmas holidays without her.

She won't be worrying about the perfect present for her daughter or if something is in the right size and color for her. The one gift that my dear friend wishes she could give her daughter is beyond her grasp.

The Gift of Time.

"Live in the moment with those you love and …
it will remain forever through memories."
Author Unknown

Making Your Space a Special Place…

the R.E.D. team – Reinventing Everyday Designs

posted on: 11/30/2007 12:30:00 PM by Sue Crum
category: Special Populations

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Organizing for Boomers

by Sue Crum

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About Sue:

Sue Crum knows and understands the life of a Baby Boomer all too well. Having served as the filling of an Oreo cookie for many years, she has reinvented herself in San Diego as the owner of The R.E.D. Team, Reinventing Everyday Designs, doing professional organizing, real estate staging, and interior redesign.

Sue's Website:


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