A lack of income can bring out the creativity in a child. I remember birthdays and holidays decades ago when my young siblings and I offered handmade “coupons” to each other and our parents, promising to give an extra hug or do extra chores for the person redeeming them. The best gifts often don’t cost anything but effort and time.

I thought of those vouchers recently when I read about a new poll.

With the holiday season upon us, the survey by OnePoll on behalf of Slumber Cloud found that half of the 2,000 Americans queried said they wished they could give something “intangible” to those they care about.

Of them:

  • 70% said they would give the gift of good health
  • 60% would give peace of mind
  • 47% wished they could give time
  • 43% wanted to give the gift of patience
  • 42% would bestow rest
  • One in three would give “less stress”

I read the news of the poll on the Good News Network and the New York Post.

And there is good news: We can give at least some of these gifts to our family members, friends or co-workers. In fact, maybe we already are.

When it comes to good health, for instance, employers can offer good health insurance and wellness programs, and encourage employees to use them. And individuals can team up with others to reinforce good exercise and eating regimens.

We can give peace of mind to family and friends in part by keeping open the lines of communication. And we can give the gifts of more time and rest and less stress by trying to be there for those in our lives when they need us, for instance by lending an ear or performing errands.

Maybe it’s time for me to get out the scissors, Crayons and construction paper again. Feel free to join me.