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Monday, 28 November 2016

Thoughts about Christmas Shopping

My dear fellow gentleman and gentle women,

Quite soon - under a month! - Christmas time will be here. It's not a surprise and most probably some of you already did some shopping towards that or at least made a list (even a mental one) about what you should get for whom. Christmas becomes more and more a commercial holiday and that saddens me... I must admit I am the kind of person that loves gifts but most of all I love making gifts for others. The smile and joy and surprise on their faces is priceless and it warms me up from the inside. Giving someone a gift makes one feel like a child again and when unwrapping the gift you can see all the personalities possible... from the one that unties the ribbons gently and tidily, placing them on the side and making sure they could be used again, slowly getting the wrap from the box, folding it and then placing it next to the ribbons... to the one that cannot hold himself from ripping the wrapping apart to eagerly get to the present! It's how I can see the child in each person when they feast their eyes upon their presents for the first time... and it actually does not matter the size or the price tag as long as it's truly something that their hearts desire.
Nowdays people started buying generic gifts that don't say anything to the ones who receive it. Or they buy year after year a more and more expensive gift - especially for children. Let's face it, some parents just buy some gifts in order for them to use it as the small ones are to little to even understand them. Trust me, a one year old does not need a PS3; a seven year old does not need the latest model of iPhone and for sure your 14th year old does not need a car! Maybe some parents think that by getting a more expensive gift they show their love more or they make up in that way the time they don't spend with the little ones... this often happens and I think it's rather sad :( I sometimes wish - since the little #ladybugbabygirl was born - that I could make the days longer and somehow use the time more efficient. How can one trade money and gifts for the time spend with the wee ones? It's a conundrum of our days... we need to get to work and stay overtime to make (more) money to spend more wisely on the raising of our children - the best kindergarten/school, the best after hour classes, swimming classes, ballet classes, aikido classes, workshops... you name it! We somehow are never satisfied :( and the sad part is that all we want is to give them what we maybe did not have when we were small. But we never stop and think of what we had when we were little and how happy we were by skinning our knees instead of doing a game on WII.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, when one should be with their families, with the ones that they love. We underestimate the power of love, that is a gift in itself.  We did our shopping list and we are eagerly waiting for the discounts but you don't think of the one gift that matters the most: LOVE. Christmas is a time for remembering that our Lord, Jesus, was born - and he gave us our greatest gift: LOVE. We just tend to overlook that and focus on the material things. It's easier to say that Christmas is all about a big fat man dressed in red, brining presents - and by the way, just so you know... Santa was not always dressed in red. His original color of clothing was green, but Coca Cola changed it into a commercial for red and that's how it stayed. Now that's what I call good marketing! Now... let's come back to our topic of ranting: Christmas shopping! Most people do it in the last moment and face the rush and the craziness of all people at once in the shops and of stocks falling and not being able to get what you wish for. Some people like this kind of stress... I don't! I like taking my time and finding something that fits for the ones I love... so November is a good time to shop for Christmas ;) if you really wanna go wild... go! But try to think practically about what the ones you buy presents for really needs. I know this might take a bit more time but the results are way more satisfactory.

Here are a few small tips:
1. If you don't have a Christmas list, make one! Name & idea of what kind of present it should be.
2. Settle a budget limit for every person you need to buy a gift or a grand total budget for all the shopping.
3. Buy the gifts in time - try not to leave them for the very last week (or the very last moment...).
4. Prioritise who comes first when it comes to gifts - family > friends > acquaintances.
5. Don't get drawn into buying useless stuff or pretty stuff that you will never use... or things that have a huge discount but that would not fit anyone you know! Don't think you will use them - you won't!
But most of all... try and be sensible about this whole process... there is no need to overspend and no need to be a Scrooge either ;) don't be a joy kill but try to be joyful in a reasonable manner. And most of all... do it with LOVE!

Yours very sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves ❤