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    The Gift of Giving During the Holiday Season

    Written by: Audrey Mischa Kirk

    We’ve all been in combat mode. Foraging through isles of stores, braving the madness of the malls and even peeping outside windows of our own home waiting impatiently for UPS packages wondering if our packages have been hijacked or if they were delayed due to the override on this years online Cyber Monday orders. The good news, my friends, is that it is all coming to an end. Now you can sit back and reap the benefits of your extreme determination in getting the perfect gifts… for everyone. You understand what it feels like to be a real life Santa without all the help from those cute little elves.

    I think I got extremely sad this year. Trying to get the perfect gift but overwhelmed because my to do list never seemed to end and the people on that list I had to shop for kept getting bigger and bigger. When did Christmas become so… stressful?! What is this holiday REALLY about anyways? Have you paused to think about what this season is really all about? Without giving my religious or political viewpoint I want YOU to stop and think about what the holiday season means to you? It means something different to each one of us. How did we become so caught up in the commercialism behind it all? Please if only for a second push pause on all of the mayhem to be in the moment. Please be sure to enjoy the quality time you get to spend with everyone. I ask that you laugh and put all the family tension behind you. Be grateful for anything and everything.

    Some of your expectations from loved ones can be high this season, ladies this goes for our gender specifically. I’ve been bombarded with advertisements of luxury cars and sparkly diamonds. I’m sorry Mercedes marketing team, Santa will most likely not be bringing me the beautiful GLK sports edition Benz this year.

    Ladies. Let me just say these poor guys! They’re trying. My heart hurts for them. I’ve been in Victoria’s Secrets and have seen them. They’re so lost like a deer in headlights. I’ve seen your boyfriend, fiancé, husband, in stores. I’ve seen them this last week in the girls sunglass section, shoe section, purse section, makeup section… girly sections of all sorts. Poor guys. They are in these girly stores walking around too afraid to pick up or touch anything like they are detectives in the middle of a crime scene case. They know whatever they get you’re most likely going to say, I wanted this in teal not aqua, the Chanel not Gucci. That necklace is diamond cut I wanted princess cut. Ladies men are not mind readers and some of us like to play this game like, “I don’t know what I want just get me whatever”. Well they will, and they did. I saw them. Poor guys. They were trying and all I can say is my heart hurt for them when I saw the terror in their eyes as they gulped and carried your gift to the cash register already feeling defeated because they know that no matter what some detail about that gift was wrong. Stop it! Just stop. If you aren’t happy with what they got you then it is because you are not happy with yourself. Simply put. Be happy. Be thankful. Be grateful. We are women of the 21st century. We have jobs and careers and can buy ourselves whatever it is our heart desires. Gracefully accept the “gift” you’ve been given. Open it. Embrace it. Love it. Accept it and be grateful that your significant other went out of their comfort zone searching for the perfect gift for YOU! Because they LOVE YOU!. Shouldn’t that be all that truly matters?

    Also DON’T COMPARE: The monetary value of what you got your significant other to the monetary value of what they got you. How immature is this? If you are only giving with expectations to receive something in return then you are not giving a gift. The definition of a gift is “a thing given willingly to someone without payment”. If you put more emphasis and happiness in giving to others rather than getting from others I promise you your heart will be a lot fuller and you will be a lot happier.

    This gift giving thing supposedly gets a lot easier the longer you are together. You tend to care less about what you’re getting and more about spending the time with children and family being Santa. My mom told my dad on their first year of marriage if he ever got her kitchen cooking supplies as a Christmas gift that she would divorce him. Guess what! The smart ass my dad is has gotten her 26 years of kitchen cooking supplies. It started the first year when he played a joke and got my mom a bread-maker and put her real gift inside of it. The irony is my mom always loved the kitchen cooking supplies that he used to hide the real gift inside. My mom loved these gifts and my dad would joke saying “Hey honey, how about that divorce?!

    Men are typically pretty easy to shop for. They know exactly what they want and are clear. “I would like a Dewalt 18V cordless ½ in. compact drill from Home Depot.” They even tell you where to buy it, but you’ll probably just end up buying them clothes, and guess what they are actually happy with that too. They’re happy with whatever.

    My favorite gifts to give people are not tangible gifts at all. They are the gift of memories. I got my now husband a trip to Hawaii to see Pipeline Masters. I had so much fun putting the plane tickets in helium balloons and wrapped them in a giant box. It was such a fun memory. Seeing Kelly Slater getting barreled in the biggest wave I’ve ever seen in my entire life then hiking, bronzing, and swimming in the warmest North Shore waters! Seriously priceless! Most people don’t remember the materialistic thing you got them but if you share with them an experience of a lifetime I promise you they will never forget it. If you haven’t bought a gift yet I can tell you giving someone your time and a fun thoughtful adventure to go with it they will never forget it. Virgin airline has some incredible holiday deals. I just bought a trip to San Francisco for $61 one-way fares. Maybe surprise them with a fun impromptu vacation.

    Be grateful and exhale all the holiday stress. You did the best you could this season and now is the time to just be happy and enjoy spending time with those you love. Do whatever you need to do to shed the stress and just be present. Your presence is after all the best gift you can give.

    Happy Holidays from my heart to yours!

    Love,

    The Landlocked Mermaid

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    Photography by: Natalia Cruz

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