I’ve given some terrible ones over the years. I would love to say it’s because my personality style doesn’t value gifts or maybe it’s not my love language, but that’s not the truth.
The truth is that sometimes I just wait until the last minute and wing it.
The worst gift I ever gave my wife Jenny is a pair of snowshoes when we lived in Boston.
Here’s why that particular gift was so dumb:
1. She’s from Florida and hates the winter.
2. I only bought one pair. I guess I just imagined her going off to snowshoe in the frozen tundra by herself?
3. They were expensive and we didn’t have any money. When I buy bad gifts, I like to overspend, too.
4. She hadn’t expressed the slightest indication that she would ever want snowshoes.
5. I gave them to her the year we were trying to move back to Georgia, a state not exactly known for its thick, powdery snow.
We still have the snowshoes in our attic somewhere. We haven’t used them once in 19 years and I think we keep them more as a monument to foolishness than as a means of transportation.
That was a dumb gift, but over the years I’ve learned that there’s something amazing you can give just about everyone on your list – belief.
There’s something powerful that happens when you give someone a gift that says, “I believe in you.”
When I started writing books about goal setting, I started to see this happen. A wife would come up to me at an event and say, “I’m giving my husband your book. I see something in him that he doesn’t see in himself. I want to help him see it, too.”
The something was always different. Sometimes it was a writing goal or a career goal or a small business goal.
That’s to be expected I suppose, spouses should believe in each other. That’s how a good marriage works. What caught me off guard was when kids would buy one of my books for their parents. They’d always say the same thing, “My dad wants to write a book.” Or “My mom wants to start a business.” The words were different because the goals are different but at the heart of them was the same message – “I believe in somebody.”
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Christmas is the perfect time to give someone a bit of belief because January is right around the corner.
In January, even people who doubt they are capable believe in themselves a little bit. It’s an amazing time to encourage someone because they’ve got a brand new, fresh year ahead of themselves.
I have two things that I think make great gifts for people you believe in.
At just under $11, the Finish Paperback is a fun, easy way to give someone a kickstart to their year.
The Finish Calendar is a roadmap to adventure. At 25” x 36” it gives you a massive look at the year ahead and comes in paper or dry erase since plans always seem to change.
Maybe when you read this, someone came to mind. Maybe when you read this, YOU came to mind. Some of the best gifts we’ll get this season are the tiny ones we give ourselves. Like an $11 book or a dry erase calendar that says, “I believe. I believe 2020 is going to be the year I finally do that thing.”
Believe in your family.
Believe in your friends.
Believe in the simple question of “What if?”
A little belief will take you a lot further than snowshoes.