The holiday season is here! A time for joy, laughter and buying lots of stuff. Everyone complains about the corporate greed monopolizing the spirit of giving, yet we all give in to it. Why? Because if you don’t give your loved ones gifts, how will they know you really love them? Face it, nothing says “I Love You” more than “Here, I got you something to dust, forever and ever.”
Oh don’t worry, I’m not getting all “Humbug” on you. I just want to give you other ideas for gift giving. That’s what I do, I help people keep their stress levels down. You’re welcome.
First of all, no one needs any more stuff. The only people who do, are kids. They are just learning about the joys of materialism and they shouldn’t be disappointed. I remember needing, very badly, a doll that talked. (Yes, I’m quite ancient. When I was little, this was a miracle). When you pushed her belly button, she would laugh and say, “That tickles!” She was amazing and I had to have her. My parents did buy me the doll. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the entire world. I made that doll laugh for two whole weeks. Then the excitement was over and she was put in the corner for the rest of my childhood.
When my nephews were little, I would get them large, empty boxes. They played with those boxes longer than any other toy they got. Those boxes became spaceships, pirate boats and a great place to hide. Yes, I’m quite the cheapskate, but I know kids. When they get a chance to use their imagination, it’s the best present of all. Ok, I’m really just a cheapskate.
Secondly, I hate trying to figure out what to buy people. All of these gift guides obviously know nothing about my friends and family. No one on my list wants memory foam slippers, scented candles or a portable cooler. They have all the kitchen appliances they need. They have no room for more glassware and dishes. They have towels, bathrobes and sheets. As far as buying something for their hobbies, that’s a bust too. There’s just so many engraved flasks, bottle openers and ideas for “What to do with Cork” that I can give as gifts. Yes, I’m saying everyone I know likes to have a drink or two.
Thirdly, I believe in the gift of presence. (See what I did? I know, not original at all and quite corny.) The truth is, I made a pact with friends. We decided a long time ago, not to send each other presents. We, instead, make a plan to get together. We spend an entire weekend, catching up. We go somewhere new and create memories. I much rather spend time laughing, and talking than to scour Amazon for another funny mug.
I do the same thing with my family. We all live in different states. We will meet up after the holidays, when the price of airfare goes down. We go to visit with our dad in Florida. All he ever wants is for us to be together. After a few days, he can’t wait for us to leave. Ah, family.
Finally, take the time to remember what’s really important in life: the health and well-being of your loved ones. Take time for yourself, breathe and stay in the moment. Call your friends and make a plan to get together. Trust me, they really do not need another scarf. They do need a reason to get out of the house for a while.
I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season. It is nice to take some time and reflect on the year ending and a new year beginning. Wishing you all the very best. I am sending everyone empty boxes, because we could all use a place to hide.
Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.