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It’s the time of the year when Christmas jingles are ringing out again! For many Singaporeans, December is a month of merry-making as we wind down for the year and the children play their hearts out during the school holidays.

If you have the habit of gift-giving during Christmas, this is probably the time when you start agonising over what to buy for your favourite people.

Let Singa Help You Plan Your Gifts


Here’s an idea: instead of giving yet another hand cream or coffee mug, get creative by playing Singa the kindness mascot. Give a gift that truly says, “I care about you”.

Rather than ask “what should I get for ma and pa?”, think “what would they need?”. Chances are, what they really want isn’t another wallet or the latest tech gadget.

Actions, not material gifts, are often louder in saying you care about someone. Even a simple thought, such as a midday phone call to mum just to ask if she’s had lunch and how she’s doing, is being kind.

You can also take a leaf from author Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages and offer acts of service (helpful actions), words of affirmation (sincere compliments), quality time, physical affection (such as a warm hug) and gifts (such as handmade art) to the most important people in your life.

To help you along with your gift list, here are some ideas that you can adapt from or simply use!

Mum & Dad, I Love You


There is no better way to show your parents you care than by whipping up their favourite curry chicken or making them a spinach and cheese quiche. If your mum is the “head chef” at home, you can make yourself useful by playing kitchen helper and doing the prep work.

Hey Buddy, Got Time?


Work and family commitments can make a dent on your social life. Prioritise your closest friends this season by organising a catch-up session and giving them your undivided attention.

If your “mummy or daddy friends” find it tough to meet downtown, arranging supper and drinks near their home is a considerate move that they will no doubt appreciate!

You can also craft a homemade card or frame up an old photo from BMT days to tell your pal just how much you care about your friendship. Even your most jovial kaki may start to tear up at such a time-tested gesture.

I Got Your Back, Co-workers


Give the annual Secret Santa tradition a twist by encouraging colleagues to give out kind acts instead of material gifts.

Want to go a step further? Offer to take over some work from your co-worker who’s been struggling to find time with her kids, or show appreciation for your staff with sincere compliments.

Rekindling Romance


Make it a priority to plan refreshing date activities to bond and create new romantic memories, especially for couples that have been together for a while.

Revisit places and restaurants you went to when you first dated, look over old wedding videos for a laugh or plan a quick getaway if time allows.

Reconnect and reaffirm your feelings for each other with more conscious handholding, hugs, frequent date nights and words of “I love you”.

Don’t Forget the Kiddos​

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Quality time, more so than expensive toys, will put the most radiant smile on your children’s faces.

Channel your inner artist and create a coupons booklet that the little ones can redeem every now and then. Each coupon offers the opportunity for quality interaction that they love such as “board game night”, “movie date” or “kite-flying at Marina Barrage”.

Spread Kindness Everywhere


Nice gestures aren’t just reserved for family and friends; they can be extended to every person you meet, like saying thank you to your estate cleaners, or giving new colleagues a warmer handshake.

To give kindness where it’s needed most, visit Giving.sg, a one-stop portal where you can donate to and volunteer at local charities. You can select a cause close to your heart and find relevant campaigns which you can contribute to.

At the end of the day, kind acts can happen randomly and spontaneously if you keep your senses alert. Even holding the lift door for someone else or returning your trays at the food court can help spread goodwill and bring a smile to someone else.

Surprise!


And do you know that when your kindness makes someone smile, something magical happens in that moment. That smile bounces back and lifts your spirits too!

Try it, and see if you experience what some people call, the “helper’s high”.

Be the one to spread a little kindness this festive season and watch it drift back to you.