The Dreaded Christmas List

At some point in November, children across the globe sit down and thoughtfully pen their letter to Santa. For many parents, this is a moment of horror, when the desires of our children are laid out. Particularly in tough economic times, a dollar-demanding list can be a cause of high anxiety. Given that we naturally want our children to have what they want, many parents will get into debt this Christmas trying to meet their children’s requirements.

To try and prevent such a crisis, there needs to be some ground rules. Naturally, your children are not to know these are ground rules as such – after all, Santa is making the toys, you’re not buying them – but the spirit is the same. Before they make their list, tell your kids that Santa is very busy this year and only has time to make a set number of presents. Allocate each child the same number, and tell them they have to stick to it, with one alternate.

Children may not like this, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid debt following the Christmas holiday. It also teaches children a good lesson in channeling their desires to get what they really want; something which will come in useful in later life. Of course, if you find you have a little more cash than you’d expected, you can always add gifts. By asking them to prioritize, you can be sure that more effort and thought will go into the list than if they had just written down everything they could think of.

Thinking Outside The Box (And Inside It Too)

When it comes to picking the ideal Christmas gift, there is no doubt that people put a lot of thought into how to make the festivities go just right for the person they are buying for. Christmas shopping can be very stressful – should you ask the person concerned what they want, or should you surprise them? Should you go for something classic or something quirky? If you make an educated guess as to what they’d like, what if you guessed wrongly? There are so many questions, and they have a habit of leading to other questions. It can be very tempting to just pick something out and hope for the best.

The fact of the matter is that if you are buying a gift for someone, you already know them fairly well – at least, we can assume so. This means that you know a lot about their likes and dislikes, and will probably have had a few of those conversations where a person reveals something about themselves that not a lot of people know.

Think back to the chats you have had with them, and try to think what stuck out about the conversation. They may have let slip something about an interest that they don’t talk about much. If you can make a gift idea out of that, they will be touched that you remembered and really value the gift.

If you are buying a Secret Santa gift, bear in mind that they won’t know who got them the gift. If it doesn’t quite hit the mark, then it hasn’t violated the law of Secret Santa, which is essentially a lottery anyway.

The Perils Of The Christmas Party

Although Christmas is a time of celebration, it can be a minefield for many people. The definition of a celebration is that people come together and enjoy a moment, and this happens most obviously at Christmas parties. More and more people are swearing off Christmas parties however, and this is due in no small part to the role played by alcohol. For those of us who like a drink, a party can be a chance to let our hair down, let our inhibitions drop and have a good time. But it needs to be remembered that sometimes inhibitions can save us from doing stupid things.

The fact is that alcohol taken in large enough quantities can make some people behave in ways that they would otherwise never dream of. It may be something pretty minor. The person who for the rest of the year is as quiet as a mouse may suddenly surprise everyone by singing karaoke – and being really good at it. They may still feel the following day that they have made an idiot of themselves and, while this is unfortunate, the fact remains that they may feel uncomfortable around people.

There are other, worse things that people do when drunk. Sometimes it can make a fairly placid person into someone who wants to fight the world – and this is a very destructive thing. Equally, it can make people who would usually be quite chaste into someone who will jump into bed with the first likely candidate. Coming back from this kind of indignity can be very hard indeed. It is OK to enjoy a drink, but it is important to know your limits.