Posted on: December 15th, 2010 by Jen Mueller

According to several articles I’ve read recently, the top three holiday stressors appear to be:

– Finding a date

– Tracking down the perfect present

– And handling family/holiday gatherings

Certainly you could take a scrooge-like approach and skip the holiday season entirely. But let me offer a different and perhaps more practical approach. Think sports. It can help you land a date and survive a family dinner. Today we’ll offer a suggestion on how to finish your Christmas shopping, stick to your budget and create lasting memories and relationships.

Here’s how it works. Forget about the “stuff” concentrate on providing an experience like watching a game together. Its simple, understated, but exactly what many sports fans crave, particularly if you happen to be more of a sports novice. Commit to watching an entire game of the recipients choosing or make a day of it on January 1st and pick a couple different bowl games to watch.

But here’s the real key to giving the gift – stay attentive during the game. Try to follow along, ask questions (wait until a break in the action or a commercial break) take an interest in the recipient’s sports passion.

The real gift is that of time. You are committing to spending a couple uninterrupted hours with someone, sharing his/her passion and taking an interest in them. You are making that person feel special and true appreciation can’t be bought in a store. It might be easier to wrap up a little something, stick it under the tree and be done with it, but spending time with someone creates lasting memories and a bond that will last long after the “stuff” starts collecting dust in the closet.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at how sports conversations can help land a date – or at least improve your chances of getting noticed in a crowd. Friday will explain how sports topics can help you navigate a holiday gathering.