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‘It’s the season to be jolly…'

Last Christmas I wrote the following piece. I still think its stands as good advice but of course this year we have an added complication; Covid 19.

Over the last few years it’s become trendy in the run up to Christmas to talk about ‘de-stressing’ over festive organisation. Reminding people not to put themselves through the unnecessary burden of buying too many unwanted gifts and looking after their financial & mental wellbeing is admiral and important. '

And of course whilst I agree you shouldn’t put yourself into debt to make Christmas extra special by buying extravagant, over the top gifts you can’t afford. I also think we shouldn’t give up on gift giving in general. There is something special about giving thoughtful gifts to the people you love. Think of the joy you felt the last time you found the perfect present for someone special.

The key is to shift our thinking about what makes an amazing gift. Thinking creatively… What would really make the person smile? What would remind them of how special they are to you? What would show them how much you care about them? These things don’t have to be expensive, they need to be personal.

Reframe the conversation in your mind to what is important to them and buy/give/make something relevant; remind them about a joke, help them fulfil a personal ambition, ignite a passion or hobby, share an experience or even just your time.

It could be the smallest gift in the world…’s not about size or expense it’s about thoughtfulness.

The 2020 update.

So… can you be thoughtful this year? Considering your loved ones ‘risk level’ could be one way of showing you care. Not putting too much pressure on them to visit might be another. Clearly we have to consider the long term benefits (safety and health) over the short term joy.

How can you replicate festive fun over video call? I think charades might be hilarious on video call! (That’s when the ‘your on mute’ phrase comes into it’s own). Can you bring forward your boxing day walk to Christmas Day – enjoying both the fresh air and the company of your loved ones. See if you can secure the postage slot before its too late.

I normally say its ‘Presence not Presents’ that counts, but whatever you decide to do clearly ‘presence’ might be a bit tricky this year. ‘Presents’ might be easier to organise but remember it doesn’t replace you spending time (even if you can only do that virtually) with family, friends and the people that love you.

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Bundle of Christmas presents in tinsel



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