The joy and pleasure of the holidays can easily be tarnished by adding to our overflowing list of the demands and pressures of everyday ordinary life. Here's three game plans to inject some fun into your holiday shopping and turn your gift giving grumbles into giggles. Enjoy!
GRUMBLE #1: This person never gives you a hint of what to buy for them - You devote your creative energy, countless shopping hours, and hard earned money to purchase the perfect gift. After Christmas, you spend more time and energy to locate the receipt, so they can return it.
GIGGLE #1: Two years ago, I announced to my mom, "This year I am buying you an iPod case for Christmas." She wrinkled her nose and tilted her head to one side, "Why would I want an iPod case?" I responded, "If you ever decide to buy an iPod, you will have a case for it." Mom's posture stiffened, and she sharply responded, "I don't ever plan to buy an iPod." I smiled, and said, "No problem, I will give you a gift receipt, so you can exchange it."
Two days later, my Mom presented me with her wish list, and every year since. Each time she reiterates, "I do not want an iPod case!"
GAME PLAN #1: Proudly announce to your "challenging person" that since they have not given you any suggestions, you have decided to buy them _____ (an item they would never want or consider to be useful). Say it with sincerity. Smile big when you tell them about the gift receipt. If they don't provide you with a list, follow through with your plan.
GRUMBLE #2: This person wants money, no gift - You feel money gifts lack mystery.
GIGGLE #2: Four teenagers were expecting their one gift under our tree to contain what they had requested - money. Upon opening their gift, they received a clue leading them to find their first envelope, containing a $1bill and a second clue...leading them to a 2nd envelope, holding a $5 bill and a third clue. The scavenger hunt continued with more clues and bills increasing in value, a $10 bill, and a $20 bill, with the final clue leading back to the Christmas tree...where they discovered a $50 bill rolled up inside a tiny crocheted stocking ornament hung on the tree.
GAME PLAN #2: Use your imagination to create mystery by how you package your money gift.
GRUMBLE #3: This person is disappointed if they don't have the most presents to open on Christmas Day - You spent all of your budget for this person on one big gift.
GIGGLE #3: The "little boy" living inside my husband shows up every Christmas. Larry denies that he equates the number of gifts he receives with how much he feels we love and value him. One year, when faced with the dilemma of giving Larry only one gift, the kids and I cooked up this scheme. I wrapped one of each of their smaller gifts and tagged it "Dad." On Christmas morning, Larry first opened these 4 packages. Each time, he looked confused, double checked the gift tag for his name, and then said, "I didn't want or need (the gift)." Immediately one of us would respond, "OH! I could use one of those. If you don't want it, I'll take it." My husband opened three gifts, becoming more agitated with each one, before he caught on to our prank. What made it fun for our four children was that they weren't sure what was inside those packages. They only knew they were each to speak up and offer to take one of Dad's gifts after he opened it.
GAME PLAN #3: Be creative and make gift exchange fun by doing something unexpected.
Lesson from Lois: "It is not what you give, but how you give that makes your Christmas memorable."
__________ Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois, works with individuals and organizations who want to learn how to effectively use humor, so they can handle the demands and pressures of work and home, maintain a flexible perspective, produce positive outcomes, and have more fun.
Learning to laugh and "hangin' on with humor" rescued Lois from the distress and despair surrounding her daily life, and initiated her recovery from a brain injury. Her universal message offers hope, motivates participants to be faithful to do the small things, and conquer their challenges one day at a time.
©2007 Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois - This article was published in Lois' December 2007 Hangin' On with Humor monthly e-zine. You can subscribe by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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