Gift cards and money as a gift

Studies have shown that this is a very stressful time of the year. So how can that be? Isn’t the Christmas season suppose to be a time of joy, peace and happiness? Well, tell that to the many millions of people who spend many sleepless nights agonizing over, you guessed it, what to buy for a particular person for Christmas. We all have those people in our lives. It could be a family member who has everything. Or maybe you are involved in a Secret Santa thing  at work and drew the name of someone you barely talk to or hardly know anything about.

Some people feel that it is the easy way out to give a gift card to someone but I totally disagree.  Unless the person I am buying a gift for is specific, I will just give them a gift card or maybe money as a gift. Now that person has so many more options. He or she may walk into that store with the gift card and find something that they really, really need.  For example, I hate when people buy me clothing items. I’m very picky in what I want especially the color. A gift card from a clothing store will really help me in that respect. By the way, for those women out there, buying clothes for men is not always the best idea. Let the guy pick out what he wants!

My main goal when buying a gift for someone is to make them as happy as possible.  I would rather give than receive. Giving a nice gift to someone and seeing the happiness on their face really makes my day.  Sometimes a small little piece of plastic can do the same trick for those hard to buy for people. Like myself!! There is nothing wrong with buying someone a gift card for Christmas. They will probably love it and you will not have to deal with the anxiety of figuring out what to buy.  And you will have not have to deal with all that wrapping.



Things that put me in the mood for Christmas

The other day, as I was leaving work, a very strange feeling came over me.  In just a short few weeks from now, it will be Christmas and I have yet to be in that so-called Christmas mood that everyone talks about.  Maybe it was my busy schedule or the fact that we have had an uncharacteristically snow free winter so far. Something just didn’t seem right.  That all changed on my drive home from work.  I turned on the radio and a great old-time Christmas song came on.  Soon, I was  driving through my neighborhood and observing all the pretty lights and decorations that people have in their front yards.  My thoughts suddenly turned to Christmas and the wonderful feelings that this time of the year gives me and many other people.  Perhaps there are other things that put you in that mood. Maybe it is other simple things like baking Christmas cookies, caroling or simply sending out Christmas cards. The following are just a few things that really gets me to think about Christmas.

1. Snow-  Yes, that is right, snow! I know many people experience a snow free Christmas and it just doesn’t seem right.   To me, snow adds a lot of luster to any Christmas much like many decorations do.  Having  light snow fall on Christmas eve can really be a thing of beauty.

2. Music-  As much as I completely hate many Christmas songs, there are several that I really enjoy hearing. There might not be a thing that puts me more in the mood than hearing a great old-time classic Christmas song.

3. Movies- It is kind of my thing to watch at least one Christmas movie and sometimes several in the days leading up to Christmas. One of my favorites is “Home Alone”.

4. Malls-  I know many folks avoid the malls at this time of the year like it is some kind of plague but seriously, attending a mall can really get my spirits up and besides the music, it is the second most important factor for putting me in the mood. For example, I enjoy going to the Mall of America and observing all the nice decorations and huge Christmas trees in the main rotunda area. The spirit is definitely in the air at that place and several malls around here.

5.  My neighbor’s decorations- I’m not really into putting up a lot of decorations and lights but some of my neighbors are. It is a really sweet to look out my living room window and see all the beautiful lights at night. I just wish they would take them down before February 1st!!

Maybe you are in the same non- Christmas mood that I was in. Perhaps you just need to sit back, relax and reflect on the many great things that this time of the year has to offer.  It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.