Should Conversation with a Cup of Coffee Be on Your Gift List?

Conversation CoffeeDecember is typically a month of go-go-go, and if you celebrate Christmas, a month with an additional ho-ho-ho.  Calendars are typically filled with attending parties and holiday shows, decorating the house, cooking, and shopping for gifts to give family, friends, and colleagues.

Regardless of the traditions you celebrate, each holiday season brings to a close another year, and hopefully, also the time to reflect on what you’re most grateful by remembering those people who had the most influence on your life.  I would imagine these people are on your gift-giving list.  If so, the perfect gift might not be wrapped, but instead may be your time in meaningful conversation over a cup of coffee, where you share how important they are to you and why.

I’m part of a generation that grew up writing thank-you letters by hand. As Christmas approaches, I write at least three letters to those who had the most impact on my life that year. They may have done a great kindness, influenced my life for the positive, or changed my thinking/perspective for the better.  Many who’ve received my handwritten letters shared how much they cherished them.

I realize that some people struggle in selecting the right words to express themselves on paper. Although writing may not be a strength for everyone, gratitude is easy to come by.  By whatever means you decide to share your gratitude, your recipient will welcome your words. If writing is not your style, pick up the phone and invite your family, friend, or colleague to share a cup of coffee.  Tell them you have something important to share with them as you celebrate the holidays.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development.  She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help organizations engage all their colleagues.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com.

The Immeasurable Gift of a Simple Thank-You Letter

As we get into the swing of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, people rack their brains, scour the web, and sometimes agonize over what gifts to buy for their family, friends, colleagues, and business associates. Although I’d wager you’ll not completely eliminate certain aspects of this pre-holiday preparation, I can suggest a new tradition that may make it easier for you to “buy” for at least three people on your list.pen and paper 2

How many descriptively, meaningful hand-written thank you notes have you received? Most people’s answers range from never to less than a handful. This year I hope to change that by suggesting a tradition I started in 2011 while on a Thanksgiving road trip.

That year I thought how memorable it would be if I started mailing handwritten thank-you notes to a few people who had the greatest impact on my life that year. These friends, family, associates, authors, or public figures could have performed a service, shifted a paradigm in my thinking, changed my life path, showed a kindness, or did something worthy of thoughtful recognition.

During a time when electronics rule, cursive is akin to hieroglyphics, and the depth of relationships is being sacrificed to accommodate width, the arrival of a handwritten thank-you note that describes the impact you had on someone’s life is guaranteed to be one of the greatest gifts anyone can receive. Why not start this tradition and make someone feel appreciated?

If this concept sounds intriguing, I would suggest this perfect gift is no further than the pen and paper sitting in your desk drawer. Spend some time reviewing the conversations and interactions you’ve had this past year and select 2-3 people that are worthy of a shout out of praise. Get into the details as you write those letters. Surprisingly, you may find that as you think of those people of influence, the gift you receive in return is one of gratitude.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help organizations engage all their employees. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com.