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Published:December 8th, 2010 08:48 EST
3 Ways to Make the Holidays More Satisfying and Meaningful

3 Ways to Make the Holidays More Satisfying and Meaningful

By SOP newswire2

"In the lead-up to the holidays we often find ourselves caught up in buying gifts and finding the best sales; but consider going into this holiday season with an eye towards systematically giving back. As Khalil Gibran said, `You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.`  
This suggestion comes from Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith, authors of THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change.  They were responding to a question posed by Daniel H. Pink, the New York Times bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind, who calls THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT "one of my favorite business books of the year." 
Pink wrote on his blog, "With 2010 winding down, I asked Aaker and Smith if they`d answer a question for Pink Blog readers:  `What are three ways people can use the remaining six weeks of the year to both spread their idea and boost their satisfaction?`  Pink found their answer to be "savvy, sensible, and surprising" (see his post at
1. Spend money in ways that increase happiness.  Money does correlate with happiness, but not in ways that people predict.  In a recent study, two groups of people were given either $20 or $5 and told to spend it on themselves on others.  The group that spent their money on others reported significantly higher levels of happiness than the group that spent the money on themselves "regardless of the amount.  It is not how much you spend, but how you spend it, that boosts the spirits.
2.  Consider how you are spending your time.  If you want to make a change this holiday season, consider not just who you are spending time with "but also what activities you do with your time.  One simple way to guide your decision about how to spend your time is to ask yourself the question, "Is what I`m doing right now going to be of lasting value to me or to others?"   This simple question nudges you to behave in ways that more clearly map onto what will really make you happy.
3.  Share your story.  Use the power of social media to share your message "and inspire infectious action as a result.  One small act "whether it be online or off "can have a ripple effect and lead to significant change.  For visuals and stories of random acts of kindness, or to share your own, visit How Good Grows, VolunteerMatch, and similar sites.  Those stories will grow and inspire others.