What I Really Want for Christmas this year: An Open Letter from the Woman who has Everything
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Welcome to my story about what I really want for Christmas this year: an open letter from the woman who has everything. How do you know what to get that person who has everything? It seems like if they want something, they probably just buy it, right? Don’t worry, we will definitely cover off some winning gift ideas but the holiday season is about so much more than gift giving. You’ll walk away from this post with some great ideas on how to spoil your loved ones…even if you’re on a strict budget. Here is what I really want for Christmas this year: an open letter from the woman who has everything.
And its seriously not what you think.
What I Really Want for Christmas This Year: An Open Letter from the Woman who has Everything
We need to think a minute about what brings people joy and adds to quality of life. I’ve openly shared my own list of what adds meaning to my life. First, lets talk about people in general. Happiness is a widely researched topic. Findings commonly state that the thing that has the most profound impact on happiness is social interaction. I would also argue that receiving help with errands or chores you have to do also has a huge impact on happiness. Engaging in social activities with friends and spending quality time with your loved ones is the best way to increase happiness this holiday season. So there’s a sneaky hint into what the woman who has everything really wants for Christmas this year.
Time with family is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Enjoying each others company and making memories that will last much longer than the joy any material item could ever bring.
I would absolutely consider time with family and friends to be a gift. The possibilities are endless; there are so many ways in which you could “gift” family time. There are a couple things you want to keep in mind when trying to make the most of time with family and friends. Of course the number one rule is to be present. Actually pay attention to the conversations, visit and interact with each other, and consciously make an effort to keep the phone away. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with checking your phone in the odd minute of downtime, but phones are a tricky thing. You need to be conscious about it.
They are a valuable tool but constantly checking email and social media is like the silent wish that something exciting will happen. Comparison is also a huge issue with social media and self esteem. So instead of worrying about what else is going on right now, make the most of your family time and take a photo to brag about it on social media once the fun is all over.
Now that we have addressed the most important rule about getting the most out of family time, we should consider a few things when planning an outing or event. You want to pick a day where everyone you want to be there can attend, including a time of day that works for everyone. For evening activities you could arrange for an after dinner get together. But there’s nothing wrong with meeting for dinner (in or out) and then heading to your destination afterwards.
Finally, you want to pick an activity that’s easy and enjoyable for everyone to participate in, and of course, always have someone on duty to ensure at least a few photos get taken of your adventures!
What I really want for Christmas this year: to Spend More Time with Family and Friends
- Invite your family to a free skate in your town.
- Visit a regional garden. Many of them put up beautiful holiday lights in the Winter.
- Host an ornament making party at your place. Serve appetizers, play carols, and provide the supplies. Plastic bulbs to be filled, clay, dough, popsicle sticks…whatever materials you like. Just be sure to include some examples and ideas! You can provide the option for everyone to keep their own ornament, or swap with each other so everyone takes home a new ornament. Or they all go on the family tree.
- Visit an indoor rock climbing gym where you can participate or spectate.
- Offer to cook or order in dinner with your family if they come over and help with yard work for the day.
- Volunteer for a cause together or participate in a charitable run/walk.
- Host a holiday or seasonal meal with fun games. Maybe build and/or decorate a gingerbread house.
- Get your matching outfits (plaid anyone?)! Put on toques, mittens, scarfs, and Santa hats. Grab some candy canes, hot chocolate, and go find the perfect Christmas tree!
- If its allowed where you live, host a bonfire.
- Host a potluck dinner and watch a traditional holiday movie: Die Hard? Home Alone? Christmas Vacation? The tradition is your to choose. With my family each year we watch White Christmas.
- Plan a big walk with hot chocolate or boozy coffees, maybe even to find some Christmas Lights.
- Host a bake-off or a holiday cookie exchange! My favourite way is to get as many people together that wants to participate- lets us six people as an example. Each person has to bake six dozen of whatever cookie or treat they will be baking. In the end, everyone gets one dozen of each kind! It’s a fun way to get your holiday baking on. And it’s always a hoot to try all the flavours with your family to see which one is everyone’s favourite!
What I really want for Christmas this year: Acts of Service
When thinking of an individual, imagine the chores or responsibilities they are committed to on a weekly or seasonal basis. Basically, you are doing your best identify tasks you can take on to make life easier for them.
Do you have an elderly grandma? Maybe you can do a bit of yard work for her and offer to get rid of the bags of leaves or branches when you are done. You will probably get a nice visit, and some exercise out of it. Plus, not that it is expected, but grandmas always seem to put a little picnic together for you when you are outside working away.
If giving an actual gift that they can open is important to you, you can present your “act of service” in a way that becomes a gift they can open. There are many reative ways of doing this. My personal favourite way would be to write it in a card. Sort of like an I.O.U. but with a cute picture or display to describe what I am offering.
So when referring to offering grandma yard work, maybe draw a picture of you raking leaves and a picture of a utility trailer filled with bags. You can write “Coupon valued at an afternoon of yard work, and removal of yard waste. Valid for one year until Christmas returns”. If you really wanted, you could provide a gift box with some garbage bags. You could make the coupon up to be more of like a “golden ticket” to be found among tissue or confetti when they open the gift.
Inspiration and Ideas for Acts of Service to gift Family and Friends
Here are some acts of services that works well as gifts:
- Arrange a night to show up at their place with a prepared meal
- Offer to take them on an experience such as:
- Go to a seasonal play or movie at the local theater
- Plan a DIY wine tour (crawl) with some friends
- Bring the whole family skating
- Pack a picnic, a thermos of hot chocolate, get everyone bundles up and go for a big walk
- Visit a local attraction like a research center, museum, large craft fair, day trip to another town, or visit regional botanical gardens
- The next time they have a pile of stuff to get rid of, you will take it to goodwill, recycling center, or landfill and offer to pay any charges.
- Offer to cook or bake them their favourite recipe you make including buying ingredients and delivery to their house.
Acts of Service Don't have to be Grand
When assessing what my weekly commitments looks like for my own situation, it looks like this: I live in a one bedroom basement suite with my husband. We rent, so we haven’t any yard work to do. My typical responsibilities including meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, baking, managing finances, doing dishes, preparing for holidays and working with my husband to ensure our cozy, modest home remains clean and tidy. Mostly dishes, vacuuming, laundry, things like that.
You may be wondering what the heck you can do to lighten our fairly light load. It’s important to keep in mind that we also want to make sure we are getting outside, playing, being social and exercising enough throughout the week, for our own health. Sometimes these are the things that go to the wayside when life gets busy.
Acts of service can be as simple as an invite to go on a walk with you, having a meal together, and generally hanging out. I love when you call me up to see if we would like to grab takeout and meet at the beach to eat and watch the sunset. If you are going to the local festival of lights, please think of me to see if we’re available to join you! Help us make memories and live life so that it doesn’t end up passing us by….doing the same thing day after day.
I highly recommend you go into the year with the goal of increasing social interaction. Start thinking about how you can make life better and more fun for those around you.
There’s a secret here, and this may be news for some.
The Big Secret
The big secret should be common sense, but it’s not! People feel so obligated to spend money and provide gifts. All to show that they are caring and prove that they didn’t forget about you. The big secret is this:
If you are a big part of someones life, in that you:
- don’t just think about them but you take action on including them as part of your life,
- focus on creating memories with them by inviting them to join you during you regular activities,
- offer to come over for a visit,
- give them a helping hand when they are getting ready to – host a dinner or celebration,
- invite them and their family out for a bike ride to the river,
- lean on each other in times of need, and
- work together to have fun and appreciate life,
They won’t feel like they need a gift from you other than to keep doing what you’re doing. If you do the above with those around you, that is the biggest gift you can give.
Easy ways to be social and include those who you care about most
This is one of those things that you get out of it what you put in. It shouldn’t be an item to check of your list, but something that is also rewarding if you come from a place of authenticity.
An example would be to go for a coffee date with a friend. For a frugal alternative, invite a friend for coffee at your place, and home-make some scones, muffins, or other treat to go with it!
If you have plans to go do some shopping and want some company, invite a friend or family member along and enjoy the whole experience. When you go Christmas shopping together, maybe opt to treat yourselves to a festive coffee or a photo with Santa to enhance the experience!
As one of my own biggest chores is cooking and doing dishes, we appreciate being invited to dinner at your place! We love trying different flavours and experiencing new traditions. And of course, we appreciate food and not having to hand-wash dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher)!
Finally, if you insist on giving a gift to that person who has everything, really try to base it on something personal. Make an effort to understand what would enhance their life. Maybe a framed photo to remind them of a fun time, a book related to one of their interests, or something that will enhance one of their regular activities like cooking, fitness, productivity, a sport, or other hobby.
Most of the following gift ideas are bigger ticket items. This isn’t a gift guide, it’s my very own holiday wish list for this Christmas. I am one of those that is grateful for what I have, and want to be around family most this time of year. But recognizing that Christmas goes hand in hand with gift giving, I thought I would lay out some items I have my eye on. Before I do, I will share a little bit about myself.
I work in an office and when at home I love to be cozy on the couch reading. But I also like to dress warm and go for big walks. I prefer to dress comfortably and live with quality items I enjoy as part of my regular life over impersonal nick-knacks. Having time for creativity is important to me and I generally get to do so through cooking, writing or painting. I enjoy self-care and experiences, such as cooking together, traveling and exploring new places.
- Cozy, high quality, oversized sweater. Two that I have been eyeing up lately are Icebreaker’s Waypointe Crewe Sweater (I love all of the colours) and Lululemon’s All Yours hoodie.
Truly wireless headphones. I absolutely love to listen to music, audio-books and podcasts and I am listening them pretty much all the time. I would love a pair that is truly wireless (so each earbud is standalone and not connected to each other), has good reviews and a charging case. The ones I have been looking at are the BOSE SoundSport Free Truly Wireless headphones, but I have seen quite a few styles pop up lately.
- Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board. I would love to have a few of these thin, sturdy cutting boards. I also like how they look.
- Large, faux fur, super soft blanket. I saw these at our local Costco for about $50 and I am secretly hoping I get to curl up in it on Christmas morning! I already have a housecoat made of this material, otherwise it would ABSOLUTELY be on this list! It;s one of my favourite things for sure.
- Candles from Bath & Body Works. My favourite scents are Marshmallow Fireside, Fireside, and Fresh Balsam.
- Silicon baking mats. These can be bought off of Amazon for about $15, but the ones I have need replacing. I have had them for over ten years and hey are cracked and worn out. I would love a fresh set!
- If I didn’t already have so many pairs, I would be asking for slippers. I absolutely love them for getting warm or making my feet comfortable while walking around the house. For staying cozy I love the reading socks from Chapters and I have a couple pairs, which I love. Otherwise, something with a good sole and is comfortable for walking the house when I am standing doing dishes or spending a lot of time on my feet. I have a pair of these that are alright, but fairly flimsy. If I ever need a new pair, I think I would go for Glerups as they look super comfortable, warm, and sustainable…we already know I am a fan of wool. Hmm… I can’t quite decide between the open-heel or boot style.
- A family photo session, with as many of us together as possible.
- …and when in doubt, gift cards! I would ultimately love gift cards toward a local bakery, butcher shop, farmers market, or for Apple Books or Audible credits.
To Conclude What I Really Want for Christmas this year: An Open Letter from the Woman who has Everything
There you have it! Thank you so much for reading about what I really want for Christmas this year: an open letter from the woman who has everything.
I hope you took the time to reflect on what the true spirit of Christmas is and discovered new ways to make memories with your family this holiday season. For that person who has everything, time spent together will be more valuable to them than any material item could ever be. Please never forget that those you are closest to just want your company more than anything else.
Finally, if you were on the hunt for that perfect gift, I hope my wish list gave you some inspiration for that person who has everything. I feel so grateful for everything I already have. Wishing a very merry Christmas to you and yours this holiday season!