As a personal property expert, my days are occupied with visiting estates, advising my clients, and determining what has value and what doesn’t. I help the children of Boomer make sensible inheritance decisions after the death of their mom and dad. I also work closely with senior citizens and help them draw up a plan for their heirlooms and estimate the value of their collectibles.
My world is all about beautiful things and the worth of each item. Unfortunately, I have to watch people fight for them after a family member passes away. Having come across lots of personalities in my life, I’ve learned from all of them.
When I mull over the present state of the economy, and on the many who are overshadowed by their financial and employment worries, I can’t help but recollect those experiences that “showed me the way”, and enabled me to stay grounded. Below are some problems and solutions that you should think about during this holiday season.
We leave this world the same way we enter it.
We own nothing when we come into this world, and when we leave, we’ll have nothing to call our own except a beautiful spirit that holds the love and memories we’ve earned throughout our lives. You can’t go with anything, so why fight over them? Yes, sentimental things have great importance, but if it can’t be shared fairly, look for a means to share them or just let them go. It’s not necessary to lose a sibling because of them. This would really upset the beloved deceased.
If this has already happened, the best gift you can give someone is to make amends and dissolve the discord. No justifications; just figure out a way, or at least try. At least, this way, you can say you tried, and you can move on with your life knowing that you’ve done everything you could do. If you haven’t experienced this before, do everything you can to prevent it.
Things bring immediate satisfaction, but not lasting happiness. So we buy more and more things to keep feeling good.
Countless of us occupy our lives with things to relieve unresolved pain and problems. As we keep going out there, getting into debt, and buying the latest electronic equipment, we still remain unfulfilled and dissatisfied. We purchase things to feel good. We buy them because we warrant it. We buy because we are depressed. But in the end, every item winds up in the hands of our loved one or an expert to offer it for sale.
Some people believe “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Others think “He who dies with the most toys, dies anyway.”
So what should we do?
- Clothes the less privileged by searching for your clothes, shoes, etc. try it also for the food in your pantry.
- Go to your attic and garage and start cleaning up messes. A lot of things we aren’t using, someone else can make use of them. Locate those associations and give them away.
- Start performing the art of giving, and avoid unnecessary purchases for a minimum of six months.
- An overloaded house is often a reflection of a disorderly life. Do you and your family a favor and clear up while you can, and help others do the same. The outcome is a lasting and contented feeling.
Gift ideas: you never know what to get for some people, and that can be quite expensive. What to do?
Why buy something? Why don’t you give the greatest gift in the world — yourself?
- Pay a visit to someone you’ve wanted to see for a long time. Surprise a family member you’ve not seen for years.
- Pen down that letter, bake cookies.
- Volunteer for those who need your help or visit closed institutions.
- Make that call to amend things, as you and your mother haven’t spoken to each other in years.
- Take your kids to a nursing home or assisted living, and observe the residents cheer up. Organize your kids to draw pictures and then visit the residents in the homes of facilities and sing for them.
- Say what you have to say, and do it now.
- Ask for forgiveness, and regardless of what happens, always offer it.
- Give hugs to those that are really in need of it.
- For everyone on your list, make gifts for them.
- Pay attention to your seniors because you can learn a lot.
Do you have an elder on your holiday list and have no idea what to give them?
- Spend a whole day with them and tell them to share some of your family histories — funny stories, encounters, family secrets, customs, marriages—and go through old pictures.
- Make a recording of this day and generate a book for them and your family members also, so that it can be handed down for future years. Many children end up regretting not having an additional family history but only realize this after their loved one passed away.
- Find a unique photo and frame it.
- Ask for the family’s secret recipe from a senior so that it can be passed on; then prepare it for them.
When we think of the holidays ahead, we must also count the multitude of blessings we have instead of wishing for those we don’t have. Make the holiday a special one for others, and it will return to you, in the form of satisfaction and joy —in giving and receiving.
With Gratitude and Love