The Most Thought Provoking Time of the Year

75542_4419336118891_1419929802_nIt is time!  For the yarn, for the tinsel, for the wrappers, and…?

In more recent history, Christmas was not an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.

It is here! And it is the most disturbing time of the year – The Holiday.

The origins of The Holiday, Christmas, are muddied by conspiracy and perhaps, some blood letting. In more recent history, Christmas was not an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.  Nearly two hundred years earlier, Christmas was banned in Boston – Thank you Oliver Cromwell.

Today, there is no avoiding The Holiday.

Cromwell and his Puritans believed that the decadence of Christmas, along with its unsubstantiated connection to the birth of Jesus and its certain ties to Pagan traditions made the holiday inaccessible to their austere tastes. With this in mind, it is odd to think that within the context of the Puritan faith a true attack on religion would not be the Starbucks holiday cup but the sheer fact it even existed in the first place.

Today, there is no avoiding The Holiday.  It seeps into every facet of
American life.  Inevitably, we give in, throw on a hideous sweater and play along.  It can be wonderful, if you let it.

The better aspects of Christmas are as follows:

  1. Awkward Family Times
  2. Christmas Tree Smells, Lights, Ornaments
  3. Food
  4. Holiday Entertainment and Movies
  5. Gifts
  6. Creepy manger motifs

Besides ‘family time’ the most stressful aspect of the holidays is gift giving.

d3908ff549aa87ccc41c49c19ad554b3Gift giving does not have to be an expensive chore.  With the proper motivation your gifting can outshine even the most WiFi interfering string
lights.

Let us begin with a dedicated psychological study of the person getting your lovely gift.  What do they need? What do
they want, but will never get for themselves? What would give you the most joy to give?

Imagine having the magical ability to gift the smell of freshly fallen snow on a cedar forest or the snugly feeling of freshly laundered sheets- WOW! That would be incredible to not only receive, but also, to give.

Due to a lack of magical powers, (we don’t want to step on Santa’s toes after all) let’s break gift giving down into categories:

Sentimental

Remember that time the family went to Moab? You probably took a million pictures and now they are sitting on your hard drive.  Put those memories to good use and create a calendar for the New Year.  Gain legendary gift giver status by ordering a few souvenirs to make a lovely gift basket.

Practical

Nice, well made sheets. Dishes. Coffee cups. Wine openers. Clothing.
Lotion you cannot live without. Socks. Custom First Aid /Survival Kit. Knives. Backpacks. Scotch.

Extravagant

Santa.  Need I say more? And Santa, if you are reading this- a winter home, in South Africa, would be exquisite.

Experiential

Material stuff is fine but it is memories that last a lifetime!  And they will not find themselves in a closet or landfill. Try something new, exciting, romantic, fun, adventurous, or just plain weird.

Scuba lessons for the future shark diver. A ride on the Polar Express. Tickets to the opera. A wine tour. Thai cooking classes. Sky Diving. Jump Zone. Volunteering at your favorite non-profit.

No matter what you decide- wrap it well – wrap it beautiful.

To keep gift wrapping costs down, pick a theme so you can buy a few rolls of similar paper and ribbon.  Brown paper is one of my
favorites but there are many others.

Of course, you will need to tie the perfect bow to top off that perfectly wrapped gift.

In good taste, be sure to buy your holiday party host(s) a gift.  A favorite and simple gift of mine is to make a delectable dish with a finally crafted recipe card.  Then your gracious host can be sure that your recipe is worth making again.

Or, with enough time, you can order host specific ornaments.

While not everyone will be celebrating Christmas- the Spirit of the Holidays is infectious.  Keep an eye out
for those in need.  Donate a coat. Donate Toys. Donate your time.

Happy Holidays! May the charitable spirit be with you!

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