Donnerstag, 27. November 2014

The ultimate guide to gift-giving this Christmas.

"We wish you a merry Christmas” is just around the corner – in reality it should be “We wish you a stressful Christmas” or even better “We wish you a costly Christmas”, to be honest.

However, to ensure that everything is going to be merry for you as love messengers – same as on any other day of the year – I will give you some helpful pieces of advice how to have the world’s best time this December – and above that some practical gift suggestions. 


1. Demystify giving.

Get rid of the myth surrounding the Holidays:

this mysterious, magical, unexplainable emotional high you wish to experience while you yourself or your counterpart opens a present – this is the biggest stress factor. 

This “Oh, he really put a lot of effort into this and has guessed my deepest wish” (because he has supernatural powers – editor’s note) – this exact expectation makes everything incredibly complicated and is all but PREDESTINED to create one disappointment after the other.

Except, of course, you fulfill every ever so rudimentary wish – you will be bust afterwards, but at least your counterpart will be content.

Yet the media dishes out exactly this kind of magical-mysterious concoction and this is the pipedream playing in people’s mental movie theaters: lights are twinkling, man holds a wrapped gift behind his back, woman clasps her hands over her  mouth, utterly surprised and speechless:

"OMG, he actually did think of THAT.”

Dear friends of discriminating entertainment, I tell you the following:  

if this is your idea of gift-giving, first of all you will have a very stressful time each time, then you will be disappointed and at last you will be broke.  

There is only one way for you as a love messenger:
Get rid of it!
Eliminate the emotional myth that surrounds Christmas!
Nobody has to proof to you during the Holidays that he “really loves you” – neither do you have to show anyone that “he is particularly important” by delivering the perfect gift.

At the same time you are not disappointed either, if all you get is, for example, some shower gel – if someone gave you a fragrant shower gel just like that in the middle of October, you’d be happy about it, wouldn’t you?

(Once my friend even gave me her own, half-used bottle, “because they did not have the same kind in the store anymore” – I had to laugh so hard! How cool and relaxed is this attitude, eh?!)


to place sooooo many perceptions and expectations on just one day makes the whole thing unbearable.
The Holidays can be so lovely and relaxed, just like any other day of the year – or as bad as any other day of the year, your call.

You can’t help the others in this matter, but I can address you in honest words:

Cut out these crappy expectations altogether.
Don’t expect that others guess or even fulfill your deepest wishes, or prove anything to you by way of a gift.
And don’t set the bar for yourself too high by conjuring up “something really individual, from the bottom of your heart” for any and every friend and family member – while the amount of time this takes is in fact enormous and you could just as well go swimming with your kids instead.

"But if they are no surprises, everything is so predictable….where is the suspense in that?”


Why do you need suspense during the Holidays?

Suspense and anticipation are all very well, but decompressing and JOY are also wonderfully beautiful energies that suit you so much better, especially when they last all through the month of December!

Or all through the year, right ;)…

This is why you will do without all this “magical Christmas stuff” this year, OK?
This whole emotional orgasm, defying detailed definition and crammed with expectations and childhood memories, exploding under the Christmas tree on this one day.
Either in a positive or a negative way, depending on the budget and how much of an effort the others made.

This applies to you instead:

Love, joy and lightness.
Same as every day. 

I call a spade a spade:
these things run deep!
Some readers will possibly be quite furious, because I just destroyed their picture of “burning candles – man adorning my neck with a Bvlgari necklace” at a single blow.

I don’t care, you can live in your dreams all you want, but the truth is:

it won’t contribute to your happiness.
And it has even less in common with freedom.

This is why you – if you really want to have the best December of all times – have to consciously make a decision AGAINST the myth of Christmas.

AGAINST this “I will be happy when my expectations are fulfilled” stuff.

However, if you do not want to do without gifts that day, I recommend:

2. Say it loudly and clearly.

If I ask my son what he wants for Christmas, I am told clearly and explicitly:

"I want exactly this Lego box.”

Assuming his wish coincides with my budget, the following will happen:

I go to the store.
I find exactly THIS box.
I pay for it.

What was the stress involved in it?

How happy will he be about it?
Perfectly happy.

As he received exactly what he wished for!

You know I don’t really like to set how-to rules, but let’s make an exception here:

1. This year you will ask everybody you would like to give a gift to what he wishes for.

A clear wish without ambiguity.
If he is not able to do so: why give him stuff he didn’t wish for in the first place?! 

2. This year you will spell out one (or two or three, whatever) wish concerning yourself.
A clear wish without ambiguity.
So no: “I want something from Benefit” – but: “I want exactly this powder and this lipstick from Benefit."
IMPORTANT! – you will be perfectly happy about your gift without secretly hoping that “she added something I didn’t expect.”

Do you want to know how happy and relaxed everyone will be?

Perfectly happy and relaxed!

"But if they are no surprises, everything is so predictable….where is the suspense in that?”

Re-read #1!

This year decompression and joy instead of tension!
Can be quite nice, too, you’ll see! 

"So what, if I or someone else would like to receive a gift, but absolutely cannot think of anything?” 

My advice then is to present him with the world’s most beautiful gift, which is: 

3. Write a list.

HERE I told you about the 40 Facts that my daughters wrote down for me and my husband (after we explicitly asked them to, remember)?

One of my absolute favorite gifts of all times until this day, and no matter how often I read it, it brings me renewed joy every time.  

the list should be titled:
"30 (or 10 or 20 or...) facts about ..." – not:
"30 things I love about you.”

Because with this you’d put yourself back under a certain pressure to only write down wonderful and positive things – but 40 facts can also include funny things, weird, everyday things and seemingly unimportant things, which immediately makes the whole thing double as funny and loving.

Trust me!

And lastly a very personal piece of advice from me:

4. If you love gifts and surprises, have a blast – but not during the Holidays.

I personally have highly allergic reactions to expectations and am able to sense these very early on:

as soon as I notice that something is expected from me (with the accompanying disappointment already in tow), I escape from the scene – I value my freedom above anything.

However, all the more so I love having a blast - entirely out of the blue, completely without any expectation, for no reason or following any discernible pattern:

I love spontaneously inviting people for dinner, buying a shockingly expensive pair of shoes for them or something disproportionately big, just because I love the act of giving so much.

All this with one exception: not at Christmas!

Or at least not exactly as people imagine it!

And let me tell you:

it is at least 100 times as much fun!

That’s the whole secret ;).

We will have the most lovely December of all times, we love messengers!

I am so looking forward to it!
We wish you a merry Christmas….


p.s. If you want to know how to cruise through the Holidays all cool and relaxed, read THIS .

p.s. 2

Speaking about “having a blast” – I have to show you something really pretty tomorrow – my very own advent calendar.

p.s. 3

Assuming 2 teenage boys decide to make popcorn, while the mother of one of them has gone out taking care of p.s. 2.
Just assuming they sit down on the couch while waiting, and get up from said couch only after the whole ground floor is filled with black clouds of smoke, and the big sister of one of them can barely breathe, although she is in her room two stories above.

Just assuming the house still exudes a pungent smells of burnt matter even after hours of airing and scrubbing.

Any advice?

(Asking for a friend.)

Thank you for this perfect translation, dear Eva Ginnell!

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