Christmas Gifts – the thought that counts
Monday, December 12, 2016 16 Comments
Makin’ Your Lists:
Checkin’ ’em TWICE?
When are we going to learn
to start even EARLIER?!
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Do you recall the gifts you received through the years? I don’t. Not really.
Oh, I can think of a few really special presents, but mostly they all dissolve into a blur of crumpled wrapping paper, bows and snips of ribbon — all over the floor.
I more clearly remember tearing into oversized felt stockings on Christmas morning, hand-crafted by my mother for each member of our family of seven, our names embroidered in sparkles on the cuffs.
Each of us were delighted with mere trinkets, chocolate treats, and the tangerine always stuffed into the toe.
She attached a string of jingle bells to each hanging loop to let everyone know that someone was getting into a stocking!
You see, what I remember most vividly are the memories of those Christmas times – and they are really all that remain from the Christmases of most of my life:
- finally digging out the ornaments, untangling the lights and trimming the tree
- snow-crusted mittens and red noses from sledding on glorious snow days (when the schools were closed!)
- wrapping presents purchased “with my own money”
- eggnog and my mother reading Christmas stories
- buttered popcorn and hot chocolate as we watched classic Christmas films in front of an old-style television set
- Helping to prepare Christmas dinners – even some of the conversations around those Christmas tables through the year.
What do YOU recall loving most?
A different kind of Christmas
When I was a kid, a family down the street gave NO presents that could be unwrapped. I was never sure whether to feel sorry for my friend or be jealous of her wonderful Christmases, year after year — but now that I am much older, there is no doubt in my mind which of us got the better deal.
On Valentine’s Day, the relatives gathered to begin planning for the upcoming Christmas adventure. The merits of everyone’s suggestion were explored as the months rolled by, even the suggestions from a few of the children that they stay home and exchange presents.
I got the excitement of Christmas for a scant few December Days.
She got the excitement of Christmas for ten solid months!!
Instead of stuff, her entire extended family gifted themselves the memories of amazing holiday experiences:
- ski trips and skiing lessons on rented skis
- visits to towns around America and Canada with unusual Christmas celebrations or decorations
- mountain chalets where each member of the family gave gifts of time and spirit to each other as they popped corn in the fireplace to string on a tree they chopped down themselves and bedecked with pine cones and paper ornaments made by all of the children.
- Candlelit services at midnight.
One year they went to Disneyland and another to Disney World.
And for one amazing trip they traveled all the way to Vienna!
On their return, the children put together their yearly scrapbooks as the adults prepared a family slideshow. Every New Years Eve they gathered in one home or another for an all-night feast and slumber party, as they shared the memories of each and every preceding year, leading up to the big reveal of the current year’s slideshow.
Today, each member of the family has an edited copy by decade, which eventually included cellphone videos as the years rolled by. As far as I know, the tradition continues as the family adds new members to their tribe.
My friend’s family was fortunate in that they could afford to take those trips – but the rest of us don’t have to be limited by finances. We can take virtual trips!
For those who love Christmas celebrations as much as I do, the link at the left will take you to some Pinterest visuals with links to enticing blogs and websites: places to go, things to see and do, traditions to honor, Christmas music to download and play, movies to watch year after year . . .
These are my reminders that there are so many ways to celebrate the season each year!
(See also: my I LOVE Christmas in New York! board)
Another way to gift experiences
My friend Norma Jean still has the beautiful jewelry she received in the early years of her marriage, but she is much happier with the presents she finally persuaded her husband she would rather receive: seminars and learning opportunities.
Her interests change from year to year, but each year she gives him “her Santa list” – seminars and classes she would love to attend, but feels slightly guilty spending family money to pay for them. Each year he picks one or two from her list, and finds a creative way to present them to her.
At first little notes were wrapped in beautiful boxes slipped into her stocking. The clever man put one notice in a box from Tiffany’s in New York, leading her to believe for a moment that her gift was to be jewelry once again.
His bold move was rewarded by her delight that it was, instead, a Six Month Reiki seminar she had long since decided was too expensive to consider.
Last year he sent her on a scavenger hunt. The TWO big bows on her car finally let her know that the gifts were hidden inside – the car itself was not new.
He hid one in a small box under the hood and placed a hand-made certificate for another under the floor mat on the passenger’s side of the car. One was a week-long spa-trip, and the other was an inexpensive energy healing workshop he had dug up on his own.
All of her friends can’t wait to find out the details of each year’s surprises – most of them wishing that their husbands would take a page from hers.
A GREAT gift for Christmas this year
THIS year, do something different. Give and receive gifts that will last: learning experiences that can change your lives, and memories that will linger for the remainder of them. And I’d REALLY like you to consider Group Coaching as one of those gifts.
Do you know anyone who is struggling with life matters that many others seem to take in stride? YOU maybe? Wouldn’t you like to change that unfortunate situation?
No amount of free web-based information will ever replace personal attention from a skilled expert. Experienced support from a real-live human being who has spent the last 30 years studying Executive Functioning Disorders is the most valuable thing I have to offer. And I’m practically giving it away right now.
Take me up on it
Not sure? Let me know you are interested in the comments section below and FOLLOW so that I will have an email address to contact you before class registration closes, or if a spot opens up subsequently. (at the top of the rightmost column, right above the spam counter).
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There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.
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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.
For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —
Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)
- Brain-based Coaching with Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
- The Group Coaching LinkList
- ALL I want for Christmas is . . . a Shih Tzu Puppy
- Elfing for Santa!
- Top 10 “Useless” Things I’ll never get rid of
(with a bit more about my Christmas boxes)
Other supports for this article – on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
A Few Other LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)
- The Optimal Functioning (Challenges) Series of articles
(about the Inventory & articles from each category)
- The Christmas Happy Christmas LinkList
- The MASTER LinkList
Related Articles ’round the net
- New Orleans 2016 (with photos & descriptions of a Christmas trip instead of a wrapped gift)
- A Victorian Christmas
- Christmas Decor on a Budget
- Christmas 2016 in Slovenia – Christmas Markets, Food and Traditions
- Film Review: “Almost Christmas” (2016)
- 2016 Christmas parades in Hawaii
BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.