The Secret Challenge of Christmas Gifts

Christmas is a complex, emotionally loaded mix of romanticised mythology and pragmatic reality with the giving and receiving of gifts at the core of most peoples’ secular festivities. It’s not as though we don’t know Christmas is coming and yet some of us still leave gift shopping until the last minute.

So, why is that?

Christmas shopping is not as simple as ticking people off from an annual obligation list. If it were people would just shop efficiently with time to spare even during the manic seasonal run-up.

Instead, the would-be gift-shopper procrastinates. Frozen into inactivity by anxiety around the purchases they plan to make and how their gifts will be viewed and judged by the recipients.

At its simplest, a gift is an expression of attention, love and affection in an age where people are struggling more and more with the pressures to achieve anything like a healthy work-life balance. Plus current economic uncertainty increases financial stress, and many people are nowadays so time-poor that it’s almost impossible to sustain care for themselves let alone caring for others.

So the gift is left to say it all and, ideally, it has to speak volumes. It has to be profound and eloquent, and provide evidence of all of the subtlest feelings inarticulately stumbled over or even omitted during the previous twelve months.

Plus gifts have to come in on budget and be most likely given to people who probably don’t actually need any more ‘things’ in their life. So, no wonder we all panic and leave Christmas shopping right until the last minute.

And it’s not as if the presents we finally choose are terrible. It’s just that the portent of the gift – the significance we have imbued it with can rarely if ever, be fully realised  – however beautifully wrapped it is.

If you are struggling to make a connection with the people who count in your life or feeling side-lined and unable to express yourself fully then use the link on this page to book an obligation free discovery call with me so that we can have a conversation about how your relationships can flow more smoothly.

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