Last minute Xmas gift suggestion: if it’s snowing where you are, nothing feels better than shoveling your (esp if elderly) neighbors’ walk! And 9 other Last-Minute Mostly Free Mindful Xmas Things.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Dec 24, 2012
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10 Last-Minute Christmas Things.

First, play some Christmas songs while you read this. I like Dino and Sinatra:

Via Reddit: “A Christmas gift for my elderly neighbors.”

1. Okay, let’s see. I was thinking how I always/usually shovel my neighbors’ walks ’cause I like shoveling (think of it as free exercise), and if they were elderly (which they’re not) they’d realllly need it. So that’s something most of us could do.

2. I was thinking “meditating” is maitri and helps us all be more cheerful and kind and open. And it’s free.

3. Free hugs! Well, at least a smile. I love how we say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” to everyone, strangers on these two days–we could do that all year, looking people in the eye and saying hello with a simple smile, not expecting anything in return. That would be nice. Like how it is to live in small towns.

4. Maybe leaving a bigbigbig tip if someone has been great and seems like they’re in college, or maybe they could use it.

5. One of our Social Media apprentices, Angela D, suggested “putting little note cards in your neighbors mailboxes. Thanking them for being a nice neighbor (unless they aren’t, ha!). It’s nice to do things like that in the neighborhood—no one is neighborly anymore!”

6. From Brianna: “compose a recitable poem/haiku for someone.” Maybe our favorite barista, post-office man…the lady who works behind the desk at my climbing gym…someone we like and appreciate but never interact with beyond a few sentences.

7. From Angela D: “I was actually just going to mention giftcards to local organic foodstores. I did that for my parents and sister because it’s motivation to get them to shop there and eat healthier and they may not go otherwise.”

8. Not sure how this works, but “You could take [your dog] to homeless shelters, nursing homes, children’s hospitals. That’s free and everyone loves to pet big old friendly doggies. And I bet those people are extra lonely on the holidays even if they don’t celebrate.”

9. Email this to your friends, and let them watch a Christmas classic, for free. I’m watching the second half of It’s a Wonderful Life, tonight:

10. Free-est and merriest of all: smile. Smile alone, or smile together. We can always smile. Or Laugh! Hoohohooo: Here’s 10 funny Christmas Things.


Have an idea or tradition in your home? Share it in comments, this was just my brainstorm with Bri and Angela, who were a big help. ~ ed.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


7 Responses to “Last minute Xmas gift suggestion: if it’s snowing where you are, nothing feels better than shoveling your (esp if elderly) neighbors’ walk! And 9 other Last-Minute Mostly Free Mindful Xmas Things.”

  1. @stylistad says:

    This was so much fun and turned out great. Happy holidays everyone and let's keep this list growing!

  2. Come up with an original holiday song (to the tune of a classic) and sing it to family and friends. Could be funny or personal.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Love that! Creative, but doable.

  4. caprikorn50 says:

    Very thoughtful ideas!

  5. carlos lacy says:

    Wow! This is so perfect for the winter wonderland escapade! Thanks for sharing! Your ideas are absolutely so cool!

  6. […] you have an elderly neighbor who has trouble wielding a snow blower much less a shovel—or maybe you had a bad day at work and […]

  7. Cyd says:

    My daughter thought of this too late to do it this year but next year she's planning on sending cards to hospitals, especially psych units, to just say "I don't know you, but I know it's especially hard to be where you are at this time of year and I'm thinking about you."