Gift Giving.

Hello and welcome to Week 48 of Tidy 2020. When I started writing these blogs at the beginning of 2020, I had no idea what the year had in store for us all. What a strange year it has been. As we head into the festive season, many people have (quite sensibly I think!) started Christmas early. Trees and lights have been going up and I love to see them.

Children hanging ornaments on a twig tree.
Spending time together is more important than gifts.

Here in the UK, it will be a slightly different Christmas for many people, although the 4 Nations have agreed on some restrictions easing and we will all be allowed to meet up to 3 other households in a bubble from the 23rdto the 27thDecember. Even with this slight easing of restrictions, it will definitely be a different Christmas for many people. Different doesn’t have to mean worse though! With that thought in mind, this week I’m going to talk a little about Christmas and gift giving and I’m going to leave the Storage Category until a little later in the year.

Gift giving is an area that can be fraught. I absolutely love getting gifts, and I love the love behind it, but there is no denying that there is often a massive amount of waste at Christmas. Whilst nothing beats the Christmas magic of running downstairs to see if Father Christmas has been (and that’s just me!), you do not need a hundred presents to get the same magic. In fact, too many presents under the tree can be distinctly overwhelming.

For my own children, we try to keep the presents a little reined back and there is a useful little rhyme for this that I use;

Something they Want.

Something they Need.

Something to Wear.

Something to Read.

Using this, they usually get a nice stocking from Father Christmas, with the addition of some things like chocolate and socks, and a larger present from us. They do a Secret Santa among themselves (which encourages them to think of others!), but we try to encourage other family members to contribute towards experiences instead of presents. When we lived in the South of England, we had season tickets to a local theme park. Up here in Scotland one year, Grandpa’s Christmas money paid for several trips to the local slopes to ski. Last year, it was all about ski equipment as we were off on a holiday to the Alps. This year though we are super sad that our holiday to the same place has just been cancelled and the children have been so good and patient during this pandemic, that I think we may put the gift money towards a physical present in the form of an Xbox. They have wanted one for so long!

Children with stockings
My children Christmas 2019.

As for the grown-ups, I have quite a large family, being one of 4, so we all do a Secret Santa between us, spouses included. It means that rather than frantically hunting round for heaps of presents for each person, we can spend our energy on just one and make it a really good one. I always try to make sure that the gift I give is thoughtful, but I appreciate that I may not always get it right!

As for receiving gifts, I always encourage everyone to receive gifts with grace and thanks for the love that has been given with it. The job of the gift (to show love) is done when it is given. Once the gift has been handed over, it is then up to you to decide if it has a place in your life and if it doesn’t, to release it with thanks. I cannot tell you how many of my clients are buried under heaps of things that were gifts and that they feel guilty about letting go of. Either keep it and love it, or let it go on its way to someone else.

Oh, and by the way, if anyone is at a loss of what to get me at Christmas, Molton Brown Gingerlily body wash always goes down a treat…