The problem with gifts


So another year is over. Wow, that was quick. It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting here thinking about winding down during Advent. Where did Advent actually go this year? Now there are only five days to go before Christmas and I’m looking at a whole heap of presents lying in front of me. Will everybody really like what I’ve picked for them? And would anybody actually tell me if not?

Gifts. A huge issue. Not only at Christmas, but especially at this festive time. How do you choose which gift for which person? Unless somebody has specifically asked for something, it’s like playing the lottery. Tastes differ. What one person doesn’t like, the next person thinks is great. And vice versa.

I was just thinking back to our traditional “Girls Secret Santa” last year… always a load of trash. Last year we suddenly had the idea of giving something that wasn’t trash. We wanted to be revolutionary and also bring pleasure to each other by giving something nice. Only one of us flatly refused – she had already collected a whole load of trash over the year for the presents. So we quickly decided: that evening there would be just one “dud”, one trash present and the rest would be nice things. And each girl who unpacked her present was to guess whether it was “top or flop”?

The evening was unforgettable. The unpacking, the hesitation, the initial embarrassed look around at everybody and then the tentative word drawn out into a question: “Hmmm… flop?!?“ It was hilarious. And the more gifts that were unpacked, the less embarrassed people were to say their opinion. And the less offended the givers were.

That’s why I’m appealing for us all to be more open about things. Why don’t we set up a “Christmas present swap exchange” where we can find the right person for unwanted flops. After all, what is a flop for one person is top for another.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s to reading about each other next year!

Very best wishes,
Verena Wachten