Black Friday madness is still on a roll in many parts of the world. Retailers are rubbing their hands together like a mad scientist who had just found the best way to replicate gold in his lab. You know the type, like in cartoons, big crazy hair, with dollar symbols instead of eyes & an evil laugh.

People’s appetite for buying all the things they never really even thought they needed is pretty high these days. I mean, I’ve always wanted a reindeer hat, I just wasn’t prepared to let one enter my life until Amazon gave me a push in the right direction.

In a few days, Black Friday season will be all forgotten and, come December, the quest for the perfect gift will be called Christmas. It’s so easy to put the names of your loved ones on a piece of paper and match those names with items that can so easily be ordered online, while you’re at work, mindlessly browsing online catalogues. It’s so easy to click on that call to action button called ’Add to basket’ and then, with a sigh, click on ‘Proceed to Checkout’.

It’s also easy to think your part is done, you’ve paid your dues, literally. But how about this year take a moment or two to really think what makes you and your loved ones happy. If the answer is a new TV, kudos for you, you’re free to go the easy route.

But the problem with material things is that they’re not built to last. You cannot create new memories by sitting in front of the television. And in the next few years, you most likely won’t regret that you didn’t get to watch all the new 3D movies right from the comfort of your living room, but you will most likely regret your lack of action and all the things you could’ve done with the same amount of cash (hint: plane tickers are SO, so cheap, if you live in Europe. You can almost anytime find great deals).

Another way you can make the best of these holidays is to be generous. With yourself, with your time, with others. Studies after studies, all pointed out here show that people are more likely to experience happiness when investing in others. Selfishness does not bring happiness on the long term.

For example, one of the best gifts is the gift of knowledge. You can try something new and invest in yourself or in those around you by offering them an online class they can take at their own pace.

Or, if you’re looking for a charity, read this article. I’m sure you can come up with various ways to help.

For me, there’s not one thing from my wishlist that can be added to a shopping cart.

Marketing Manager in the IT Industry. Storyteller.

Marketing Manager in the IT Industry. Storyteller.