Cheryl's Blog

Week 48 – No More Gift Buying: A fun way to share some joy


We had a provocative call about the power of the subconscious mind with Dr. Darren Weissman last week. Darren wrote the book, “The Power of Infinite Love and Gratitude.” To listen to the call on line, or to download the MP3 file, visit here. Thanks Darren!

You can now download a variety of past telegatherings for free on itunes by going to “podcasts” and searching for “Change Your Life with Cheryl Richardson.”

Have a wonderful week…



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Topic of the Week

No More Gift Buying

“When you become detached mentally from yourself and concentrate on helping other people with their difficulties, you will be able to cope with your own more effectively. Somehow, the act of self-giving is a personal power-releasing factor.”

–Norman Vincent Peale

‘Tis the season for gift buying and yet, this year’s financial challenges make shopping more stressful than ever. This week, I wanted to focus on the kind of gift that could really make a difference in someone’s life – a gift that not only brings joy after the holidays have passed, but also gives you an opportunity to strengthen a relationship with someone you love. It’s the gift of your time and talent.

Right now, in this very moment, there’s someone you care about who is burdened by a project they feel unequipped to handle – something you do well. Think about it. Is there a family member who has trouble getting organized, a sister who would love help with holiday decorating, or a friend who needs curtains for his new apartment? This year, instead of spending money on gifts, why not offer to help out? Here’s a fun, new approach:

1. Make a list of five people you intend to buy gifts for.

2. Schedule a time to call each one.

3. When you do, say something like:

“Hey Maggie, I know we all have a project or task hanging over our heads that we keep meaning to get done. This year, rather than buy you a gift, I thought I’d offer my time and talent to help you get a project completed. If you’re willing, why don’t you spend some time this week thinking about something we could do together, and when I call you back next Monday, let me know what you’ve come up with and we’ll schedule a date. How does that sound?”

4. Follow up with a call and, if the person agrees, schedule a date to work on the project together.

There are several benefits to giving this kind of gift. First, you relieve a loved one of the emotional stress that comes from procrastination. Second, you give this person an on-going reminder of how much you care. After all, if you help a friend organize a kitchen closet, he or she will think of you and feel loved every time they open the door. Third, giving the gift of our time adds less “stuff” to the planet. And finally, sharing your talent gives you a chance to spend meaningful time together.

So, this week, consider a new tradition. Just imagine how life would be different if everyone helped each other in this way! Now, let’s see. I still have boxes that need to be unpacked, a pantry that needs to be organized, and pictures that need to be hung on a wall. Hmmm….

Take Action Challenge

Do something different this holiday season. Give your time, talent, and love to someone who matters. Think about what you love to do, then find someone to share it with. Who knows? It might just turn out to be the best holiday ever!

Life Makeover For The Year 2008 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, or for reprint permission of this newsletter, please email:  Copyright 1999-2008. Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.