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On the Getting and Giving of Christmas Presents


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Holidays and traditions go hand in hand. The Christmas season is huge on tradition and families all over the globe celebrate their holidays in their own unique ways. Ways that have been handed down from one generation to the other for, in some cases, centuries

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On the Getting and Giving of Christmas Presents

  1. 1. On the Getting and Giving of Christmas Presents
  2. 2. Preface / Introduction@~~~>The LAST Time I Made This OFFER I was BURIED in calls so I am limiting this to theNEXT 5 PEOPLE ONLY CALL ME NOW - dont miss out! CALL ME NOW for your FREEInternet marketing consultation. $100 value. Let an expert show you RIGHT NOW how to profitonline every single day without leaving home. CALL ME -- Liz English -- NOW, (315) 668-1591.LIVE 24/7/365.
  3. 3. Table of Contents1. On the getting and giving of Christmas presents.2. Holidays And Traditions-Start Your Own For Your Relationship3. Holiday Shopping For The One You Love
  4. 4. On the Getting and Giving of Christmas PresentsOn the getting and giving of Christmas Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. I started and just about finished my Christmas shopping last night, December14. That is the anniversary of the death of Queen Victorias much loved husband Prince Albert... andis the only day of any year when the public can view his mausoleum at Frogmore, on the grounds ofWindsor Castle. The great queen is also buried there. I went once on a rainy day many years ago tosee and found she had gone to the greatest possible lengths to make sure she was ready for him, hercomfort through the anticipated blissful ages to come.Prince Albert is on my mind today because he is most probably the man who launched in Englandthe idea of the Christmas tree. And once he had done so, loyalists in the empire on which the sunnever set felt obliged to have Christmas trees, too, even former imperial colonies like our GreatRepublic.Prince Albert brought the idea from his picayune principality Saxe Coburg Gotha. If it had been upto them, the idea of Christmas trees would have stayed German, insignificant, and parochial... butQueen Victoria ruled over half the world... and her prince ruled over her. He liked Christmas trees(indeed, he liked all things that were family oriented and allowed him to drop a sentimental tear ortwo)... thus Victoria liked Christmas trees... it was the royal couples gift to the world. Im glad; I dolike the things with all their trimmings and especially their fresh pine scents.Besides, all the presents do look nice artfully arranged under the tree, dont they? And since this is astory about Christmas presents, its nice to know you have a beautiful tree packed with mementoesand memories of past years, a suitable place for packages wrapped and unwrapped.Thus, I have selected the seasonal favorite "O Christmas Tree" as the incidental music for thisarticle. The best known version was written in 1824 by Leipzig organist Ernst Anschutz. It may alsohave been introduced into England by Prince Albert, whose aspects were serious, nervous, severelyself critical and often lachrymose. If such a hard-working man (dead at just 42) could take pleasurein an actual tree and a fine tune about that tree, I am glad he found some comfort and joy atChristmas and thank him for introducing these features of the season to his wife... then the world.You can find many renditions of this song in any search engine. Its very soothing...Evening December 14I am a person who has absolutely no Christmas spirit at all until I set about the important business ofselecting gifts for my chosen ones. You see, I am one of the decided minority of people who actuallylike selecting and giving gifts. I do not regard the matter as forced (as so many others, buddingScrooges all), onerous, a ridiculous waste of time and money, over as early and inexpensively aspossible. No, indeed.I grew up in an Illinois home, part of the famous Baby Boom generation which has, since itsconception, had such a pronounced effect on manners and mores. Giving apt presents was one of thethings my family and friends liked to do, even grampa Walt who could be notoriously crusty aboutsuch matters, especially if the spending of money was involved (as, with Christmas, it always was). Ihave carried this cheerfulness with me even during my earliest days when money was scarce and onewas, therefore, often frustrated and impatient. That, at least, is not the problem now.The real problem I face is two-fold. First, my annual list is dwindling year by year, compliments ofthe Grim Reaper, who most assuredly is no cheerleader for Christmas. Second, with only twoexceptions (niece Chelsea and nephew Kyle) there are only two young people on the list, and theyare already young adults, teen-age years already gone. My adult recipients all have comfortable Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 4 of 9
  5. 5. On the Getting and Giving of Christmas Presentslives, needing nothing but the one thing I cannot give: good health. Each and every one of them hasa pressing health need... and we are all at the age when no conversation would be complete withouta full and complete health update. Still, needing nothing, they would be most dismayed if nothingcame from me... and I should think most poorly of myself. And so, December 14, 2011, after thedays work is done, I take out the stacks of catalogs I have been hoarding for months... and which areessential to the only kind of shopping I will ever do... shopping which can be done from the ease andcomfort of home, never entering a store for any reason whatsoever.First, as in every year, I draw up my list and, as always, I remember the dead of my family tree andacquaintance, people I knew so well and loved over the course of a lifetime of Christmases. I neverforget these sinews of my life, though thinking of them is always bittersweet. I complete my shortlist in just a minute or two; I know each name so well and wonder who will be the next to go,shortening my list and diminishing my world.I then make my preliminary pass through the 50 or so catalogs I have retained for just this moment.Some are automatically eliminated; the Sharper Image catalog immediately goes into the trash dueto their astonishing ineptitude with an order for a dear friend. I shall never again trust my reputationand seasonable equanimity to those boneheads. Catalogs for children are disregarded; we have nochildren. Catalogs with soft furnishings are tossed; January sales will bring better offers. As for stillothers offering t-shirts with the inscription "She who must be obeyed", these are not my style.Having discarded the dross, I commence my real labors... this year made immensely easier by thegenerous gift of a Sacher torte from Vienna, the gift of Dorotheum, Austrias leading auction house,a place I do regular business. Two slices of this famous confection have put me in a very good moodindeed. And so I begin my perusal and selection...Unlike most Christmas gift givers, I have no pre-set budget. I buy what I like and which, fromconstant effort, I know the recipient will like. Cost is never the major variable; appropriateness forthe recipient is. And so I ramble through the catalogs knowing I would give no present rather thansomething hasty or unsuitable for a single person on my short list, all loved and cherished by me.Yet except for Kyle who is difficult, I find over the course of the next 3-4 hours presents that I like,that I feel sure my recipients will like, too. Then today, most probably in the early evening, I shallcall every 800 number indicated and use my credit card to make all the purchases. The mostimportant thing about this way of doing business is that one must be patient, partly because its avery busy season and partly because the help is often seasonal, with all the potential problems thatentails. Yes, patience is required. And a sunny word to the order taker, if she feels down andbedraggled, conditions immediately apparent.In a couple of hours on the phone, my shopping is done... gifts now on their way, whilst I take up thenext and final part of my shopping; a visit to Trader Joes for purchase of the sherry I distribute to allthe people who make my life easier, condo maintenance, house cleaners, et al. I have looked for alifetime for the sherries I give now (for my taste includes both amontillado and cream); Real Tesorois by far the best, and the least expensive; a miracle often performed at Trader Joes.Now I am done... simultaneously glad and sad by the paucity of my gifts... happy that I shall makethese special ones happy at least once more... but missing the dear ones gone before and still soloved. For these, I take out my egg nog, remembering the great silver bowl my grandfather usedwhen he administered the nog with brandy; (who got that anyway?), whilst I need only a glass.And then I plug in my 13" tree, the one with the bubblers my grandmother gave me a half centuryago. And in its undulating bubbles all I see is the past... Christmases past retaining a magicChristmases future cannot hope to duplicate or reprise. But in my dark, quiet room, punctuated bythe brilliant lights on my little tree, "O Christmas Tree" seizes and sooths me... and reminds me how Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 5 of 9
  6. 6. On the Getting and Giving of Christmas Presentssturdy God has made me... ready for the future to come..."O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How sturdy God hath made thee! Thou biddst us all placefaithfully Our trust in God, unchangingly."### We invite your comments on this article below. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 6 of 9
  7. 7. On the Getting and Giving of Christmas PresentsHolidays And Traditions-Start Your Own For YourRelationshipHolidays and traditions go hand in hand. The Christmas season is huge on tradition and families allover the globe celebrate their the holidays in their own unique ways. Ways that have been handeddown from one generation to the other for, in some cases, centuries.Holidays and traditions can mean anything from the foods that are served, to the ceremonies or ritesperformed and attended by so many, to the whole family converging on grandmas house, to whogives what gift to whom.No two traditions are the same and vary from family to family and country to country. Everyonelooks forward to be able to be a part of something so sentimental and precious that they do all theycan to continue the ways of their ancestors and predecessors.Recipes get handed down from generation to generation and the young ones get taught how to cookthe meal and decorate the house so everyone can enjoy themselves thoroughly throughout theseason. The ways the food is prepared and how it tastes is as much a part of the way of doing thingsas any other part of the celebration so the young ones coming up learn to do things "just likeGrandma".It doesnt have to be just Christmas either there are plenty of people who celebrate Thanksgiving, orMemorial Day, or any other of the special days of the year the same way every year. Any of thespecial days of the year are subject to some type of traditional feast or celebration.Some stress may enter the situation when two people get married and then have to combine bothsides ways of doing things. Compromises surely have to be made to accommodate both familiesespecially if the marriage is an interfaith marriage, same sex marriage, or interracial marriage. Noteveryone celebrates things the same way.To learn to combine traditional festivities, each of you should sit down with pen and paper andoutline everything that is important to each one of you when it comes to whatever celebration is inthe offing. Then rate each item on each list from most important to least important or at leastsomething that can be left off the combined list that no one cares that much about.When the two of you have been married and kids come along you can customize your owncelebrations and ways of doing things. Some people go out to see a movie in the theater after thefeast. Others sit down and watch the football game on TV. Maybe you like to all go sledding ortobogganing, have a snow ball fight or build a snowman in the front yard. (If you live in a place thatgets snow, that is.)Holidays and traditions are what you make them and if your family has been doing things a certainway for as long as you can remember then you might as well leave well enough alone and just enjoyyourselves as best you can. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 7 of 9
  8. 8. On the Getting and Giving of Christmas PresentsHoliday Shopping For The One You LoveGiving gifts is a great way to add variety and excitement to a relationship. Sometimes gifts are givenfor no reason but sometimes holiday shopping for the one you love can be even more exciting. Thegifts you give do not always have to be store bought gifts. Here are some homemade gift ideas.If you have been dating for a while you probably know him pretty well. Why not put together a giftbasket with some of his favorite stuff in it. What you choose to put inside the basket does notnecessarily have to be related, just choose some of the things he uses every day or try to find thingsthat were his favorite from when he was little.He will appreciate that you took the time to do some holiday shopping for the one you love and thatwill make the gift so much more meaningful. If you have chosen to make the basket full of the thingshe says were his favorites when he was growing up then you will give him a gift he will treasurealways.Here is another good one, a work survival kit. What does he do for a living? If he works behind adesk all day you could fill a basket with his favorite pens, a new tie, a nice new shirt, some healthysnacks, maybe an energy shot or two, a new coffee cup, and his favorite kind of coffee. Do notforget to include a nice picture of the two of you that he can keep on his desk.Go speak to his mother. If she will give you some pictures of when he was little, you can make acollage of those pictures, frame it, wrap it and put it under the tree for him to open on Christmasmorning. You could do the same with pictures of the two of you from a trip you took together orspecial times you have had. He will love you for it and put it up it in a prominent place where he cansee it every day.It will be a reminder of the wonderful childhood he had or the wonderful times you have spenttogether. If you do the childhood collage maybe he will relate some stories about what he was doingin some of the pictures. You will get to know him better through the pictures and the stories and youboth will be closer than ever because of this one little gift.If you like to knit or sew you could make him a new sweater or shirt. You most likely know whatsize he wears, or can find out easily enough, so it will be easy to pick out a pattern and buy thematerial you need. If you live together, keeping this a secret may be the hardest thing to do. Do yourcutting and stitching at a friends house or at your mothers and swear them to secrecy.These are just a few things to think about when doing the holiday shopping for the one you love. Useyour own imagination to come up with other things that you think he will like. He will appreciate thetime and effort you put into making him these gifts. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 8 of 9
  9. 9. On the Getting and Giving of Christmas PresentsResourceAbout the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a widerange of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home businesstraining, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting,hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 onlineHome Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today.Republished with authors permission by Elizabeth English Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 9 of 9