How Not To Be Disappointed This Christmas - A Practical Tip
Many years ago, when I was living in circumstances not quite
like today, I invented something in the spur of the moment which
is fascinating and has significantly improved my life.
It actually started four months earlier, for my birthday in
I had wanted to buy something very esoteric for me - a personal
development tape set about wealth and success; but it was
massively expensive and although my husband didn't exactly beat
me with sticks on a daily basis, there would have been NO WAY I
would have been "given permission" to buy this with the meagre
This sort of thing was held to be "stupid" and "pointless" and
"a waste of money", and there wasn't anyone at all in my life at
that time who would care enough or even try to understand me
enough to actually go out and buy it for me.
Please. Start the violins! And then bring in the cello section,
for good measure!
Ok, so I was feeble back then, had no self esteem, didn't know
what I was doing because I hadn't received my personal
development tapes yet :-) but I came up with the idea to sneak
the money and then in order to have an excuse for having the
tapes around the house, to say that a girlfriend had given it to
me as a present.
I went into action. I sold some things, skimmed some of the
money off the shopping budget, ordered the set (without using
the family checkbook but with postal orders instead!); sat on
the doorstep for a week so I could intercept the postman; when
it arrived, I hid it carefully and then got gift wrap, wrapped
it, put a card to it and signed it with a greeting from the
Then I put it on the hall table because now, it could be seen
and stand up to questioning.
When my birthday came, I hadn't been so excited about it in
I raced down the stairs like a kid to get "my present", and even
burst out into tears when I opened it (which was explained with
an onslaught of PMT) and hugged it.
It was the best present I'd had in YEARS.
Then, Christmas turned up and even though I felt guilty as hell,
I did it again with something I similarly desired.
I've been doing this ever since.
Now you may say that's not in the spirit of things, but 25 years
later and with the hindsight of a professional career in
counselling and psychology behind me that began with that gift I
gave myself, I would say that what I did there was to CHANGE MY
There was no-one there to give me what I wanted, and finally, I
stopped waiting for that mysterious knight in shining armour, or
the glowing angel manifesting on my doorstep, or the mysterious
rich uncle who I never knew about, or my husband to undergo some
instant personality transformation so he would finally "get me",
and instead, I took my life into my own hands.
*I* gave *me* what I need and wanted.
And the result was that I *actually GOT WHAT I NEEDED*.
That's an amazing lesson, in many ways and on many different
Women are STILL deeply entrained to be the providers and to take
nothing for themselves; the "culture of everything for others
and nothing for you" is even more global than that and extends
There are many things about the bold move of DELIBERATELY
choosing and wrapping a present complete with a card TO YOUR
SELF which are remarkable.
ALL the religions say that you should give service - there is no
logical reason to EXCLUDE one single person from the service, of
all the many people on this planet.
8 billion minus - one?
And that one is ... YOU?
That makes no sense, but that's the way we have come to
In psychology terms, to exclude the self from the service and
devotion extended to others is actually pathological and a sign
there's something wrong with you!
One could argue, and I would indeed argue this, that if you give
gifts to other people but NOT TO YOURSELF, you are sending the
wrong message, big time.
And practically speaking, this shouldn't be anything special. It
should NOT be like the first time I did that - full of guilt or
shame or so significant or revolutionary as a concept.
You should just simply be on your own shopping list at
Christmas, just the same as everyone else you are buying
Everyone should buy themselves a gift at Christmas! And on their
birthdays, and on whatever holiday or celebration their culture
prescribes. They should take the opportunity to express thus
practically their support and gratitude for all that was done,
for WHO THEY ARE, with a small gift and a card which carries the
words so they may be read, and understood.
That is in essence, a blessing.
To perform this ceremony on behalf of one's self is not only
fair, and more than that, it is a HUGE metaphor of integration
It is a fantastic opportunity to sit back and assess, very
practically, where you're at, what might make you happy, and to
enter in a communication with the "forgotten self" that brings
this one back into the fold of the 8 billion.
This is not a selfish act at all, but instead, a golden
opportunity to ensure that on many levels, this one person gets
what they want; that this one person is as happy as
circumstances will allow; and you know, beyond all material
goods, it really is the thought that counts.