All I Want For Christmas is...
I hear the sleigh bells tinkling, they're coming ever closer. The tiny mallets of elves feverishly whacking away on miniature wooden work tables. Gifts for boys, girls, men and women are filling the waiting store rooms, all in preparation for December 25th! Good golly, it's just around the corner! This year will be different! This year I will prepare and plan, versus waiting until the last minute, rushing about the malls and department stores trying to find that PERFECT (scratch that - the quickest 'looks like it's thoughtful') GIFT in the picked over pile. I'm changing and I can feel it in my bones, just like the bite of the advancing winter chill blowing in the wind...
MY LAST MINUTE SHOPPING FIASCO'S OF THE PAST...
1-The Mall's Last minute Gifts for Dummies 'Holiday Shoppe' to buy their big processed cheese ball rolled in OLD CHEWY sliced almonds & accompanying salt-lick meat-stick (what is that strange red hue made from? Is that really the color of meat?) -2007.
2- The 'NOT' well received Child's Floating Vest for the pool (remember it's still December!) from Albertson's food store 'gift isles'.
3- A left over 4 X 6 velveteen (or velvet-like) photo album from Walgreen Drug store, glue marks on the faux-velvet still visible to the naked eye, as well as the 50% off price tag I neglected to remove. (please note: I thank God for Walgreens, they have saved many last minute shoppers from showing up empty handed!) ...The person I gave this little beauty to had a lovely & EXPENSIVE Sweater from Macy's for me... shameful, need I say more? no, but I shall continue with BIG Number '4'...
4-Package of fuzzy slipper socks for an adult, only later to find they were child sixed - 2008.
Well, those were less expensive last minute gifts.There was the moderately priced...
5-Gift certificate purchased online to a photography studio I had never heard of, later found it was actually located in one of the nations largest K...bargain K...stores next to the tire section!
6- Fist full of Mc'Gift Certificates from the Mc'Drive through on the way to the party... Paid a pretty penny for these to end up on the car floorboards or trash cans of my co-worker's BEFORE they left for the day! grrr....
7-$400 dollar gift certificate to a lovely retreat center that was later found to be without a lake view, mountain view, or even a view of the sky, just lots of trees (like back at home where the receiver of the gift lives) 2005.
I admire you. Yes, you, the individual who begins planning for the holidays months in advance. One friend of mine always has Christmas gifts stored away, starting in the spring. She meticulously keeps lists of birthdays, anniversaries, and details, details, details. Her ear is trained to pick up even the most veiled hint that someone 'has always wanted one of those'. The most obscure preference to the greatest want, and it's filed away neatly in her mental Rolodex. Any party or event, great or small, and there it is... a pretty little gift wrapped with love and creativity. The guest of honors' name written in elegant calligraphy; of course this is on a home-made, printed greeting card. OK, I do not expect to fill those huge shoes, but I can change the tide of my past.
No siree, I will do much better this year! I have done my homework in advance this time. I have chosen thoughtful items that I know will be both useful and well received. Maybe you are interested in changing your 'last minute' holiday shopping ways too? Here's my formula.
ECONOMICS: My friends and family are not impressed with huge large ticket items (thank God for that), instead they are as concerned about the economy as I am. If your circle of loved ones is anything like mine, it's the thought and intent of the heart that counts, not necessarily the size or amount of cash spent.
For this reason, I have started a collection of items I am blessing my circle of friends with. Maybe you also have ideas? Share them with me.
1) MY BIG IDEAS: Fair Traded Organic Coffee GIFT BOXES
No fruitcakes, soap-on-a-rope, or expensive flops. There are enough homemade cookies and fudgey treats floating around & landing on the hips & thighs of way too many Americans as it is [I mean WOMEN too...]. Oh yeah, there's enough hip poundage to bring the 'bump' back from the disco era... ("Do the Hustle... du du du...").
This year I am thinking, creative, useful, fun, and less fatty. I do love a sentimental gift as much as anyone else - and chocolate still rules, but sentimental & fatty is taking a back seat and giving room to WISDOM. One of MY personal favorite offerings is sweet-sweet smokey coffee - in a million different varieties.
Why? Because I live in the Pacific Northwest where coffee is an essential. Having friends over? Coffee! Off to work? Coffee! Out on a first date? Coffee! There's always room for it, and it's ever flowing in these here parts.
However, it is important that coffee is not harvested & ripped from the natural resources of other countries in a selfish & harmful manner. It's important that the growers are receiving fair treatment, and that coffee is as much of a blessing to them as it is to us.
Thus - For Christmas is FAIR TRADED & ORGANIC Coffee!
2) MY BIG IDEAS: Personalized Gifts...
Although I am in my forties, several of my loved ones have small children. A strange new development that resurrected in the late 80's early 90's - the Forty something new mom (God bless you all). Whether they be niece or nephew, godson/goddaughter, the lovable kids in my class, I have picked out something that is personal yet affordable for both Adults & kids.
Kids can enjoy their own personalized lunch box with name & picture, storybook, or DVD/CD.
Adults can receive Personalized Games or DVD's such as "The Love Story of Your Names & Right Here" or "Friends-R-Friends Forever: Steffsings & The Buddy Bickman's 2009" etc... this DVD will be a keepsake that hightlights key events in a personalized manner. Now how thoughtful is that? Whether you want to laugh, make lasting memories, or honor someone with a heartfelt gift, this will not be forgotten quickly.
- Wiz Dog
Ok, don't laugh. It may not be a 'cute as a button' Christmas Gift, but dog-gone-it They'll thank me by January!
3) MY BIG IDEAS: WIZ DOG - Indoor Dog Potty
My last offering for this list of Big Ideas for the holiday season is a special gift for friends & family with pets: I have chosen an item that will be most appreciated here in the Pacific Northwest. As the days become colder, and the weather more extreme, our pets can really suffer out in the cold frosty snow & ice. There have been several days where rain, hail, and snow storms have locked down parts of our city, halting even public transportation. Well, now our pets don't have to be locked down as well! Don't knock it until you (or your pet) tries it. In our area this will be a essential for every pet owner. (My little Pekingese Chihuahua Mix is getting ME one - for herself of course!)
THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS WILL NOT BE LOST IN THE DETAILS THIS YEAR! The focus will not be given to Last Minute shopping.
TELL ME WHAT ARE YOUR BIG IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS, CHANUKAH, OR OTHER HOLIDAY EVENTS FOR THIS UPCOMING SEASON?
Maybe I can take a few pointers from you?
Ho, Ho, Holiday shopping NOW can allow you to focus on the true meaning of Christmas when the time arrives ( a special birth of a King some 2000 or more years ago), Rather than rushing around later. It can be the start of a new tradition of peaceful, treasured seasons greetings with fun & flare.
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