The Nightmare That Is Gift Giving

Gift giving - what a nightmare. If you’re like me, you’re a bit useless at giving gifts.

There’s the fact that you have no idea what they would want.

Or the ideas that you subtly suggest upon passing shop windows - say a dress for your wife - get greeted with scorn and derision by said wife.


And the wife wants a surprise and so won’t suggest anything.

Surprised she will be when she gets that shiny new kayak, won’t she?

Then there’s the fact that you’re slightly competitive when it comes to giving.

It has to be THE best gift for that person.

So anything less is a complete failure.

Throw in some social anxiety in the form of giving to people in more wider circles, like the wife’s cousins who’ll be around for dinner.

What if I didn’t buy something for them and they bought something for me? What if I did buy something and they didn’t?

Round and round in circles it goes.

No wonder Christmas was hell.

If you're like this all I can say is watch your own head. Don’t obsess about it and try to enjoy it - and actually give something.

Like anything - the more practice you have in giving, the better you get at it.

Not giving doesn’t work.

There was a phase where my present panic meant I didn’t give any gifts.

I tried to justify it as as a protest against rampant Christmas consumerism, but really it was just being useless.

A certain girlfriend back in the day had serious words with me - and I’m grateful for it.

Not giving really bolstered my propensity to mess up relationships.

I think generosity is such a valuable personality trait to cultivate.

It doesn’t have to be money - I know Christmas IS a pricey time of year.

What I mean is generosity of the heart.

No matter what time of year, the kind of attitude that speaks “how can I help you?”

Based in that, the greatest gift you can give is your own presence.

Your full and undivided attention.

You know it when someone is really WITH you.

It’s nice, you feel valued or something - and yet it’s increasingly rare.

In this time of mobile tech I see so many people together, but worlds apart.

Sitting at the same kitchen table but universes away.

If you want more from your relationships with your partner and kids and family -

BE with them.

Don’t be on Facebook, don’t be over thinking about presents and the turkey (you turkey) …

Show up.

Many things are important, like the turkey and the kayaking trip on Boxing Day -

But relationships with your partner and family are essential.

They are worth spending your presence on, simply because if you do your life gets easier, happier, calmer, more fun.

When you hit tough times you can sail through, that much easier and smoother.


Have a great day and talk more later,



If you’re interested in a training programme of sorts that means you can effortlessly more present, be more generous and less selfish, stress and worry less and laugh way more, then you’re in luck.

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