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Showing friends you care: friendship tips for hectic holidays

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2002

(NAPSI)-The holiday season brings about a desire to share the fun and festivity of the holidays with good friends. Between family responsibilities and work commitments, however, the holidays can leave people crunched for time to spend with their friends. Dr. Jan Yager, sociologist, author and friendship expert, offers advice on how to stay close with friends during the holiday season. "Take the time to let your friends know you care, whether it's through the time you spend together, the gifts you exchange, the cards you share or the words you say."

Here are several tips to show friends you care during the holiday season.

1. Go to a movie. They are a great two-hour break in the day. Grab a friend and head out to see the latest action adventure or feel- good romance-whatever suits your mood. If you are running low on funds, go to the matinee; they are usually less expensive than the evening show.

2. Personalize your holiday gifts. Instead of buying the same sweater for each of your pals, take the time to really think about what an appropriate gift would be for that person. Is your friend a bookworm? Maybe a gift certificate to a local bookstore would be a great gift. For your friend who loves to cook, purchase a new set of utensils. Take the time to show that you care during the holiday.

3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Call a shelter to find out when they need help and sign up with some of your friends. You will be able to spend time with your friends and you will be helping out those in need during the holiday season.

4. Go shopping with friends. Hit the malls with a buddy. That can help you think of that last, elusive gift for great-uncle Ed, your new sweetheart or the teenage babysitter.

5. Combine holiday tasks with time with friends. Break out the cookies and cocoa and invite everyone over to wrap all their holiday gifts. Share wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and stories as you accomplish one of your holiday to-do items and visit with your pals.

6. Visit www.emode.com/ friend ship to take the "Just Between Friends" quiz, which is designed to help you determine your ideal friend. This may help you make the choice of who to spend time with during the holiday season-or help you decide whom to share you good fortune with if you are lucky enough to win the Visa promotion.

7. Holiday entertaining: Include some of your friends at a family get-together or have a separate holiday dinner or party with only your friends.

There are many other unique ways to show your friends that you care, but Dr. Yager also reminds you "Give your friends the greatest gift of all, your time and your appreciation of them and your friendship. Letting your friends know that you care assures that this will be a holiday season that you and your friends will cherish throughout next year."



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