The holidays are fast-approaching and the panic is starting to settle in for the most of us. There's long lists of things to do and buy and no matter how many times we tell ourselves that next year we will plan better and do this or that ahead of time, somehow we find ourselves, once again, rushing to find those "perfect" gifts for our friends and family.
I hate gift-shopping. There, I've said it. But to be fair, it's stressful and there's a lot of pressure to "get it right".
Thankfully, me and my family worked out a "habit" of sending each other lists of things we want/need to avoid receiving things that will end up either returned or unused - we like to be practical.
However, if you don't have a list and are a bit overwhelmed at the thought, I got you covered. I've curated a list of the things I'd like to receive, in hopes of inspiring you to move away from gifting just for the sake of it, and heading towards giving experiences or more thoughtful gifts, in general. So, here's what I'd like:
DNA Genetic Testing and Analysis (on sale now). I know it might sound strange and you might think that this is a strange gift option. However, I always wonder about my roots, as in where exactly I came from and what I'm made of.
One can easily say that they're Italian or Irish and so on, but there's so much more to it than that. Same questions were on my husband's mind for as long as I've known him. He was so fascinated about all this that last year for Christmas, I gave him an AncestryDNA kit. It was easy to use and so exciting to wait for the results, and let me tell you - those were not what he expected. It opened our eyes in many ways and it only made us want to explore more.
Now, at the time, I wasn't aware there were other types of tests out there regarding DNA and even genetics. I don't know about you but I want to know what I might have to deal with in the future. Plus, I want to know "my history". This test gives you insight into your ancestry as well as genetics. It might scare me, but if there are things I have to consider/change, I want the chance to take that step before it's too late. So yes, this was on my wishlist. I say "was" because these kits are on their way to us as we speak - we just couldn't wait. If you guys are interested, I can give you more details once we get the results.
Photo Books. I try to make a photo book of our major events or just to have something physical to look at. Whenever I browse them, I am overtaken by the beautiful memories and experience those moments all over again. Like, one day I was not very happy with my hubby and while I was cleaning, I came across a photo book I made for him for Christmas, a few months after he proposed. We met online so that's where our relationship unfolded. He asked me to be his girlfriend via skype, before he even met me in person.
We saved all the transcripts of our conversations (maybe publish a book one day? haha), and I have included the text leading to him asking me to be his girlfriend and me accepting in those pages. I can tell I quickly forgot what we were arguing about just by reading those lines and, instead, was reminded for the umpth time why I allowed him in my life.
But back to it. We live in the photography era. Cameras are always withing reach and we constantly take photos. But how many of these photos end up forgotten or never looked at again? How many pictures did you take of your loved ones and forgot to share? Have you gone to a special place that you want to never forget? Have you taken a vacation with your family that you know everyone enjoyed?
Why don't you put those photos into a photo book and give it to those you know will appreciate it? Why don't you give one to yourself? It's so much nicer to browse through an album/photo book than swiping left/right or pressing the left/right arrow constantly on your phone/computer. Give it a try.
Spa/Salon treatment/Mani/Pedi/Massage. We have busy lives, we are stressed and we desperately need rest. A few hours of pampering, away from agendas and to-do lists? Count me in!
Does someone in your family or your friends have a favorite spa, salon or massage place? How about treating them to a session or with a package to any of these places? Trust me, they will be ecstatic.
Weekend getaway/mini vacation. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't like this idea. I love getting away from the day-to-day and explore a new place or just relax somewhere away - you can only relax so much at home. Why not gift yourself and/or your loved ones a ticket to a place that is special to you, or a completely new one? If well thought/planned, you won't forget about this gift or want to return it.
A bucket-list item. I have a long bucket-list and if I get any help crossing one off, I'd be very happy. For example, I want to para-glide. It's not a cheap bucket-list item, plus, it's a bit scary. But I want to do it nonetheless. Maybe if I get a gift certificate, I will finally get over my fears and do it?
Think of what those items are for yourself or anyone else and do it - it will bring joy not just for yourself but also those around you.
A book that will change their life. We all need inspiration and a boost to make changes in order to improve our lives. I recommend these books because they have helped me tremendously, when I needed it. Do you know someone who's going through a bit of a rough patch? Give them a little hand - you can make a difference.
Be selfless. The holidays are times when people less fortunate are reminded of their situations more than ever. Donate to local programs and charities and make someone feel special by bringing them a little cheer. Do that either by donating a meal for someone in need or find another way you can make a difference. We donate monthly to our local food bank and during the holidays, we donate toys for children through Toys for Tots or Salvation Army.
I hope this list gave you an idea of what you can do this holiday season. I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.