If money is tight, Christmas can be a frustrating time of the year.  Even if you had planned for the gift giving season an unexpected expense can quickly take away any money you put away earlier.  If your significant other has gone through a tough time this year, the best gift you can give them may not be available online or at the local mall.  Often the best gift you can give someone is a big bear hug.  However, its a little hard to wrap a big hug in a box with a pretty ribbon.

I met a man some time ago well into his 90s.  He had been a widower for more than a decade and had recently moved into a nursing home where he was going to finish living out his days.  One day we started talking about World War II and his part in it.  He had participated in many battles and seen how horrible mankind can get.  I asked him how he ever got through such an ordeal.  He motioned and asked for his wallet.  He pulled out a small card that was clearly old and worn.  I could barely read the writing.  The words were short but the meaning clear.  “I love you more today then yesterday.  Life may pull us apart, but my heart is always with you.  You are brave, you are strong, you are a beautiful gift from God.”  The card was signed by his wife and dated the day they married.  This simple card had carried him through his darkest days.

Sometimes the simplest things we can do have the biggest impact.  This year get a piece of paper about the size of a business card.  On it write two or three encouraging thoughts you have about someone special.  Once you've got it the way you want, have it laminated.  Then wrap it in a box and give it to them on Christmas.

They can carry it with them all through the day and refer to it when life tells them they have no value, they are surplus or their skills are no longer needed.  They can pull out the card and remember that there is someone who thinks they are great!