You Don’t Have to Shop For What People Really Want (Need) For Christmas

A couple of years ago my daughter and I went to see Josh Groban at the ACC in Toronto. The concert was part of a weekend away, her high school graduation present from dad. We had an awesome time.

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During the concert I noticed how many people were watching through their phones. Then at one point Josh actually took a moment to “encourage” everyone to put their phones away.

Why did he do that?

Well, I suppose as a singer, after all the hard work he put into writing, practicing, travelling and performing, he didn’t want to sing to a bunch screens for 2 hours.

Even more than that though, I think he wanted to make a connection with the audience and the only way he felt that was going to happen in a meaningful way, is if they would give him their undivided attention. Which meant putting down their phones. Can you imagine?

What he was saying was, “Hey everyone, I know you want to capture this on your phones, but we’ll all have a much better experience without them.” Instead of saving something to your phones to watch later (which most times we don’t) stay focused now, take it all in…the sights, the sounds, the dialogue, the crowd reactions, the lights, the band members etc

Josh Groban reminded the crowd of something of tremendous value that night and he gives us a clue as to what we can give others this Christmas too.

If you’re still shopping for  someone, consider this. Give them this incredible gift…your attention!

It seems that people are in constant motion, moving from one thing to another, in a hurry, usually late and stressed. Help them slow down, relax and benefit from doing nothing other than engaging with you, one on one, quietly and slowly. Think about it. It’s a gift each of us can give.

So how can we do that?

  • Prioritize it. You may not be able to connect with everyone you want to before Christmas but start with your most important relationships.
  • Count the cost. Spending time with others does cost us something…our time, which is perhaps our most precious commodity. It may cost us the price of a coffee or lunch.
  • Schedule it. How often do we say to someone, “We should get together sometime.” But it never happens…why? Because you didn’t plan for it. In today’s world, if it’s not on your calendar it’s not happening. So next time, say, “Hey what day next week works for you? Where can we meet and what time?” Done!
  • Personalize it. Connect face to face if possible. Social media has it’s place, but as we say in our house, “Social media is for information, not conversation.” The exchange of your voices will mean more than you know. You may have to drive a significant distance to make this happen and it might be the best use of your time.
  • Leave the cell phone off. Having a conversation interrupted by their cell phone going off is annoying…and rude. If you’re having a meaningful conversation with someone, leave the phone off. Give them your attention.
  • Talk on the phone, (don’t text), if connecting in person is not an option. Believe it or not the sound of your voice will be a blessing.
  • Keep it going. This isn’t just a Christmas idea, this is a life idea. Keep the habit going into the new year.

Still wondering what to give someone this year? There is something of greater value than anything you can buy from a store. Save yourself some coin, and make an investment in someone else, by giving them your attention…your undivided attention.

What an incredible gift!

Q. Who comes to mind right now as you consider who you can give your attention to?

Q. What’s stopping you from contacting them?



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “You Don’t Have to Shop For What People Really Want (Need) For Christmas

  1. Hey Dan,

    Another great blog especially for someone on a very limited income.

    By the way, what day works for you to get together? I’m in Orillia at Jen’s for another 3 weeks or longer – broken foot and needing some help – I’m here Sunday afternoon until Thursday night. That means my days and evenings from Monday to Wednesday are totally open. So what day or evening works for you? Merry Christmas!