Thoughts on Christmas and Fearless Gift Giving

Harry, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just… let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee. – Agent Cooper
How could I resist the purchase of a genuine Twin Peaks inspired Douglas Fir Christmas tree?
In the interests of full authorial disclosure I must confess from the outset that I love Christmas. It’s not because of the dreary carols that play ad nauseam in shopping centres, it’s not about dealing with scary last minute shoppers, it’s not the incessant and guilt ridden advertising that fills our television screens and our letterboxes, it’s not about religion, and it’s not about excessive eating and indulgence. For me, Christmas means giving; the one time of year where I have an extra special licence to spoil.
Rather than lavish expensive luxuries on family and friends, I am a firm believer and applier of the rule that it’s ‘the thought that counts’. This could be something as simple as baking a batch of cookies for someone, gifting something interesting or simply taking the time to show and say that you care.
Sometimes with gift giving I think it can be easy to either place too much pressure on ourselves so that we lose all enjoyment associated with the process of giving, or not placing enough pressure on ourselves to actually find a gift that ‘works’ for that particular person. Finding the right balance and holding onto some semblance of joy can be hard, especially with the general madness of the season.
This year my motto for gift giving is to be FEARLESS! This means that I’m hoping for all my gifts to be handmade; or created by a local or independent artist; or something non-traditional, surprising or bordering on ridiculous; or just something random that I think the recipient may enjoy.  Instead of being preoccupied with finding the mythical ‘perfect’ gift, I want to gift something reckless, or something crazy, or something unexpected and try to avoid at all costs the dreary, the mundane and the pedestrian.

‘Harry, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee.’ (Agent Cooper)

How could I resist the purchase of a genuine Twin Peaks inspired Douglas Fir Christmas tree?

In the interests of full authorial disclosure I must confess from the outset that I love Christmas. It’s not because of the dreary carols that play ad nauseam in shopping centres, it’s not about dealing with scary last minute shoppers, it’s not the incessant and guilt ridden advertising that fills our television screens and our letterboxes, it’s not about religion, and it’s not about excessive eating and indulgence. For me, Christmas means giving; the one time of year where I have an extra special licence to spoil.

Rather than lavish expensive luxuries on family and friends, I am a firm believer and applier of the rule that it’s ‘the thought that counts’. This could be something as simple as baking a batch of cookies for someone, gifting something interesting or simply taking the time to show and say that you care.

Sometimes when giving gifts we either place too much pressure on ourselves so that we lose all enjoyment associated with the process of giving, or we don’t place enough pressure on ourselves to actually find a gift that ‘works’ for that particular person. Finding the right balance and holding onto some semblance of joy can be hard, especially with the general madness of the season swirling around us.

This year my motto for gift giving is to be FEARLESS! This means that I’m hoping for all my gifts to be handmade; or created by a local or independent artist; or something non-traditional, surprising or bordering on ridiculous; or just something random that I think the recipient may simply enjoy.  Instead of being preoccupied with finding the mythical ‘perfect’ gift, I want to gift something reckless, or something crazy, or something unexpected and try to avoid at all costs the dreary, the mundane and the pedestrian.

11 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Glad you opted for a Douglas over a Noble or Grand… I’m wondering if your tree shall have a winning theme, or be randomized with an assortment of eye-catching embellishments that catch a special kind of light.

    Yes, it’s ‘the thought that counts,’ only to be seconded by it’s ‘the words that count.’ Thinking outside of the box is somewhat of an extraordinary present in itself…

    It’s a remarkable world out there…
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Cold Is The Night When The Stars Shine Bright =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lisa – My Christmas tree this year has no clear theme, so it is definitely more random and fitted out with lots of different handmade and fair-trade decorations in a bright collection of colours and designs…

      Oh I do like your thought that ‘thinking outside the box is an extraordinary present in itself’ … that is such a lovely way of looking at things (and one that I hope my gift recipients can appreciate).

      The world is a wonderful place indeed and I feel lucky indeed to be able to share a like-minded view of things with lovely people like yourself… I wish you all the very best of the festive holiday season!! 😀

  2. Paul

    You’re right, Christmas is the perfect time to support local craftspeople and artists. Must not leave the shopping to the Christmas Eve this year.
    .-= Paul´s last blog ..stray dogs fear storms =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Paul – I’ve normally been very haphazard in the past when it comes to choosing Christmas gifts for family… This year I was determined to be more organised and purchase more ‘independent’ gifts instead of mass commercially produced items…

      I’ll have to report back after Christmas to determine whether the recipients are just as happy with my efforts! 😉

  3. Nico

    Thanks for this, you’ve given me a new way of looking at Xmas. For many years my attitude was “Bah, humbug” and I wanted nothing to do with Xmas, as I was alone.

    But this is my first Christmas with my lovely fiance and I can’t wait to have a tree, present unwrapping Xmas morning and all for the first time in many, many years. (I actually bought us this http://www.hallmark.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product%7C10001%7C10051%7C938849%7C215589;221069;221094%7Cnull%7CP1R4SO%7Cstores
    which is so unlike me…but then so is getting married!)

    I will have to wait though…we need to move before Xmas and haven’t found a house yet…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Nico – Oh your first Christmas together with your fiance is very special indeed!! I’m sure you’ll enjoy a magical celebration together! (PS. I love the ornament you bought – it will no doubt look very special!!).

      I wish you all the best with your move and with the festive season!! I hope the both of you feel well and truly spoilt with eachother’s gifts (and with eachother).

      😀

  4. Narnie

    I have a black Christmas tree covered in pink, orange, blue green fluffy baubles and glitz. I am a complete Christmas addict and I love the challenge of getting the perfect gift. This year I am aiming to buy everything without spending a penny and it’s working! I’ve sold stuff to generate income and then immediately rebought presents – a kind of ultimate recycling. My kids are spending all of Christmas eve baking cookies and making marzipan fruits, truffles and sugar mice to give away in gold doiley cones… see, I’m rambling cause I love it all so much. Like minds, we are.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Narnie – A black Christmas tree…?? Wow – I love the sounds of that!! Together with your brightly coloured decorations it must be a wonderfully colourful sight to behold.

      I’m so glad to hear how involved you are in the whole festive season – I love to make the most of all the Christmassy activities while I can too!!

      I really love the way you ‘recycle’ money raised from selling things to put back into the cost of buying presents… such a beautiful, self-sustaining gift giving philosophy! I think that may be the approach I try to take to Christmas next year – it would definitely be a new challenge!

      It sounds like your kids are going to be having fun on Christmas eve… in fact they’ve inspired me to do some baking myself… there are so many lovely things to make (and to eat!)… I’m off to consult some recipe books… 😉

      Wishing you all the best of the festive season!! 😀

  5. Kimberley

    I think as much as I love receiving presents and I love being surprised; I do quite like the feeling of thinking of something so customised to a person… I am just.. anxious in anticipation in awaiting to GIVE them the present. I hate waiting! When I was younger; my family and I did the European thing of opening presents on midnight on Christmas Eve. Now.. its torturous waiting, as my sisters and I live apart.
    But now that I’ve met so many new friends – and/or have not met but fully consider you and Lee friends, I can’t wait to send a certain lil something in the mail. Whether that gets to that person, or adorable married couple on time… well. Presents in the mail on any day is Christmas to me. 🙂 x
    .-= Kimberley´s last blog ..Consoling your Glee-less heart =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kimberley – I know what you mean about hating to wait to give someone a present. Once I’ve found something that I think is pretty great, I want to give it to them straight away!! I think that’s the downside to being organised – you’ve got the gifts hanging around for much longer. When everything happens at the last minute, there isn’t so much waiting involved.

      Oh I love the sound of the European tradition of opening presents at midnight on Christmas Eve…that would be so fun! Lee and I tend to exchange one gift on Christmas Eve and then leave the rest until Christmas day (a nice way to extend out the gift giving process). 😉

      I would most certainly class you amongst my friends too Kimberley. The fact that we haven’t met in person is only a temporary glitch, that I’m sure we’ll rectify one of these days. In reading your last paragraph you’ve got me even more excited for the arrival of the mail…!!! I hope the Santa Claus mail express also delivers something wonderful to you too!! 😀

  6. Darvin @ Inexpensive Gifts for Men

    I love your attitude of being fearless in your gift buying. I have often wished I could have this attitude during Christmas, because as you have suggested Christmas often becomes a very stressful time because you’re stressing over finding the “perfect gift”.

    Perhaps, I can use you as my inspiration to become more fearless… 🙂
    .-= Darvin @ Inexpensive Gifts for Men´s last blog ..Romantic Christmas Gifts for Men =-.

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