Stacked Pile Of Meaningful Gifts for the Holidays
At this time of year, Siri gets tired of being asked generic questions. Something like “What is the perfect question to ask at the Thanksgiving table to bring the family together”; “Best gifts for kids age 2-18”; or “Memorable ways to spend the holidays without kids” etc. The results usually looks like half the family asleep on the couch watching football, Legos under your foot, or a night of cold cereal because it isn’t worth it to cook without company. If that isn’t the holiday season we want to repeat, what is the real question to ask? What are the real gifts to give?
1. Give time. Rick Warren is famous for his quote “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.” COVID has complicated a lot of “normal”, but the beauty of one on one time is the flexibility of personalization. Whether you read bedtime stories over Zoom or book a ski date with your brothers. Prioritizing meaningful one on one/small group time, creates feelings and memories that will last forever.
2. Give to Charity….but don’t do it on your own. Set up a fund that your kids (of any age!) know about. Then research and present to the family. The lesson this gift teaches is much larger than whatever size envelope you set aside. The positive conversation brings your family together to talk about passions – you might just learn something about each other as you see what cause or charity each family member picks! Beneath the goodwill created in your family, charitable gifts may also result in significant tax benefits. With the 2020 CARES act, up to 100% of your income may be offset by charitable deductions. If the COVID economy has been good to you, setting up a Foundation or a Donor Advised Fund may be especially beneficial – with additional tax savings allowing you to set up avenues for your posterity to give in perpetuity.
3. Set up your ultimate gift. Estate planning can be an emotional conversation to bring up around the table, especially on a year when many Thanksgivings may be held virtually. Working through differing thoughts and feelings while you are alive may help your ultimate gift be long lasting relationships with each other. Instead of checks and goodbyes. If your estate planning is complete, consider revising it with a personalized letter for your children to receive after your passing so they have one final word from mom and dad letting them know how you feel about them and what you hope they accomplish with the values and skills you left them as well as the assets.
These gifts can bring long lasting joy to you and your family. We are here to help or answer any questions if you would like to learn more about these recommendations. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Erin Reed Ames, CFP®, CEP®
To learn more about the author of this article Erin Reed Ames, CFP®, CEP®, CPA visit: https://adamswealth.stealthmedia.com/team/erin-reed/ or connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eringerraereed/