This Christmas, spend time on the little things

It's the small kindnesses that your loved ones will remember most, long after the presents are unwrapped

Jens Meyer/AP/File
Lights illuminate the Christmas market in Weimar, central Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011.

Every once in a while, something just appears out of nowhere and strikes the perfect chord in your life.

Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a link to a short YouTube film, Change for a Dollar. Here’s the video. Please, take the time to watch this.

For me and for a lot of us, December is filled with spending money on things for others. We try so hard to make a wonderful holiday for those we care about.

The thing is, after all of the money is spent and the gifts are opened, the things you’ll remember will be the little things that have almost nothing to do with the gifts.

When I think back to every one of my favorite memories of my life, none of them have anything to do with gifts. They have to do with little things.

I remember the last Christmas I spent with my great grandmother. She was still living independently, but she wasn’t doing so well, so we brought her a whole bunch of easy-to-prepare foods and cooked a meal for her.

I remember sitting around a table a few days after Christmas playing Risk with my dad and some of his friends, the first time I played an “adult” game with the adults.

I remember when my father was unemployed during the winter when I was about six. My mother found a $20 bill in a parking lot at a grocery store, mostly buried in the snow.

The little things matter. They matter more than the big gifts or anything else.

Spend this season – and perhaps 2012 as well – making the little things right. It might alter the big things more than you think.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.