Gifts That Are Not In Little Blue Tiffany Boxes

As you’re winding down 2011, I’m sure you’re taking a few minutes to review the year and take stock of how it all panned out. Did you hit your goals? Did you have goals? How did your job or business fare in 2011? Despite the economic tsunami, did you stay afloat or perhaps even thrive?

Think about your professional and personal relationships. How are you doing with the people you work with? Look back at December of 2010 and think of how your professional relationships were then and ask yourself if there’s been any change between then and now? Is it for the better or worse? There is no status quo in relationships.

How about your personal relationships? How’s it going with your spouse, kids, relatives, and friends? Take a minute and ask yourself if these relationships are getting stronger or are they getting weaker? Remember that kids often spell love as “time.” And spouses are kids with long, hairy legs.

Regardless of how 2011 worked out for you, give thanks. We have a lot to be thankful for. Our health, families, country, and many other things should be on our thankful list. I’ve always thought that it’s nice that Thanksgiving and Christmas come so close together. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, insert your holiday of choice. This season is the perfect time to give thanks, spread the love, and to celebrate.

In the holiday season, we’re used to giving gifts. So let’s take that spirit to our interactions on Social Media platforms. During the month of December, set a goal to invest ten minutes every morning giving gifts. Gifts that cost you nothing. Gifts that touch people and make them feel better. Gifts of appreciation.

Get your morning cup of coffee and plop down in front of your computer and pull up Facebook. Go to your home page and see who is having a birthday today. Post a birthday message on their Wall. If you’d like to post something cool for them, feel free to go to my Wall and copy and paste the birthday greeting that I send people every day. I’m at www.facebook.com/kevinjknebl and if we’re not already friends, feel free to “friend me.” See what’s going on in your Facebook friends’ lives and click the “Like” button or make brief comments on their posts letting them know that you appreciate them. Or just wish them happy holidays. Just be sincere.

Then go on over to LinkedIn and look at the Status Updates of your connections. You can refine the updates to show recent Recommendations, Postings, Pictures, etc. I like seeing who has recently changed their profile picture and sending them a message like “Hey Bob, nice new mug shot. Looking good, bro. Happy holidays, Kev”.  Touch people. People like to know that someone is thinking of them. Spread the holiday love.

Gifts don’t have to come in little blue Tiffany boxes. Gifts don’t have to come with big bows on them like in the Lexus commercials. Often the greatest gifts are the ones that touch our heart. There’s usually a correlation between sincere, inexpensive, unexpected gifts and the recipient’s warmest thoughts for the giver. Take a little time this season to let people know that you’re thinking of them. Don’t try to position them for business in 2012. Don’t you dare mention your business. Just let them know that you care. End 2011 on a warm note with your professional and personal relationships, and you will start 2012 on the right foot. Happy holidays.

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