Years ago, my friend M. sent me the all time funniest Christmas Card. On the front of the card was a cartoon illustration of a 'caveman' housewife handing something to another 'caveman' housewife.
You opened the card and there was a different illustration of two very chic, currently dressed women. Upon closer inspection, you notice the one woman is handing the other woman what looks to be like the same something from the front of the card, but now that same something has a giant red bow on it.
The card's caption read - The Original Fruitcake.
Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee.
Meaning of truly funny 'said' Christmas Card - 'Regifting' has been going on since the dawn of time. And, of course, the more obvious - the card's creator really doesn't like Fruitcake.
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During the Christmas Holidays, I come down from my ivory tower (crazy messy office / stockroom) and help all my adorable young sales girls unpack, price, and put out all the 'Good Stuff' we have ordered for The Store to sell for The Christmas Gift Giving Season.
This (The Christmas Gift Giving Season) is the Piece de Resistance for me. It is beyond a wonderful feeling to think that all these wonderful little somethings that we sell will be beautifully gift wrapped (by us, of course) and presented to a friend or loved one with the sole purpose of bringing joy and happiness to their lives.
So, with that thought in mind - the ability to spread joy, joy, joy among so many people so easily, . . . then you can understand how it breaks my heart to hear:
"I'm not doing presents this year. I'm paying for my grandchildren's education. That should be enough."
"I don't do Christmas anymore, I pay my daughter's Country Club bill each month."
"I just do a check"
"There are just too many of us. We draw names out of a hat. It's much simpler that way."
"I only buy presents for the grandbabies."
"Christmas will be slim again this year, my son-in-law doesn't . . . Well, I don't need to say it out loud."
(I'm sensing that the 'elders' are feeling frustrated, unappreciated and perhaps a bit overwhelmed.)
Honestly, there should be some type of Christmas intervention counselling. What in the world could have possibly happened over the years to harden all these sweet soles against Christmas?
When did Christmas just become a yearly financial reckoning and not a joyful thoughtful holiday?
Don't get me wrong, I think it is incredibly generous and well-meaning when an 'elder' can come forward and offer, "I'd like to help out with this expense." But really, does that also have to mean bubpkis under the tree?
Check (from dearest elder)
If it is your intention to give a well meaning (much needed) 'check' this holiday season, please personalize the thought (lovely gesture) by also giving a great book, or a beautiful plant, or a fun family photo in a charming frame.
Perhaps, you could just take a charming 'family memento' off one of your over cluttered shelves in that back study you never step foot in except to make sure the housekeeper is keeping up with her dusting.
"Your Father and I bought this (whatever it is) on one our many trips to Europe and thought that you might like it. Wouldn't it look stunning in your . . . . den?" Warm smile.
Personally, my Mother has always selected a serving piece (sterling or pewter) for my Father to give me Christmas Day along with the customary 'envelope'. I can overwhelmingly state that after 25 years, the small 'token gift' has resulted in 8 place settings of Francis 1st, plus incidentals: to include pie server, cake knife, several large serving spoons, butter pick, cream ladle, jelly knife, asparagus server, . . . . I probably have as many serving pieces as the Queen of England. For sure, I have more styles of Francis 1st in my silver drawer than Reed & Barton sells in their catalogue.
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A different tragic scenario . . . . .
Spouses (hardened wives)
"We have an understanding, I buy myself whatever I want all year and he (husband) doesn't waste money on something frivolous at Christmas."
"I just ask for a gift certificate, it's easier that way. After all these years, he still has no idea what I like."
"Could you please wrap this? If I don't buy something for myself, I wouldn't have anything under the tree, grrr."
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Getting What You Want
Let's be honest ladies, most husbands are just clueless when it comes to selecting / shopping for presents for their wives. They (clueless husbands) have made some expensive mistakes over the years and even though the 'big guy' can power play in the boardroom with the meanest of the big dogs, he simply has no confidence after all these years of 'togetherness' of what to buy you for Christmas.
Well ladies, remember the so-called 'List' topic that I bring up at nausea in most every post. Well, Christmas time is an ideal time to further along those lists. Try giving your sweet husband some suggestions of items that he could purchase (order over the internet or by phone) that would delight you. All husbands understand the terminology of - Money Well Spent.
Holiday Wish List Tip: List a variety of items in different price ranges. It is never wise to appear overly greedy in writing.
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(aka - Things You Could Buy Me That I Probably Won't Return)
Perfume (Be very specific ladies! Brand name and fragrance is essential.) My favorite scent is Antonia's Flowers - Floret.
Great Book - Monster in River Oaks - River Oaks Bookstore (very creepy book). Should not have been so interested in JBJ's motivation for financial compensation upon outcome of trial, hmm.
Favorite Bubble Bath - He should check around the tub for inspiration.
Favorite Chocolates - He can check top drawer of your desk (or waste bin) to verify flav-du-jour, ha ha.
Great Fun CD - I love the Black Eyed Peas
Night Gown & Robe
Cashmere - Who wouldn't love a 'little something' to wrap up in on a cold winter night?
Boots & Bags - Personally, I never put these types of items on a 'Wish List.' Do you really want your husband to know that you spent that much money on yet another pair of black boots, ahem? Warning, could possibly jeopardize future purchases.
Bauble - Be very specific in your recommendations- brand, store, sales associate's name.
Blog Insider Tip: Perhaps, call ahead (or email) to the 'targeted' store and just 'check in' with your favorite sales associate. While you are thanking her for all her help over the years, perhaps, you could mention that if he were to call . . . . a rose gold band (with sparkles) would be a lovely Christmas gesture (addition to your bountiful collection).
In theory ladies, you should be able to leave the rest to her (remember, she works on commission). Allow the lovely sales associate (professional) to make the closing statements, "The piece can be worn casual or dressy. Day or night. It's perfect for her lifestyle; she'll love it! Shall I put it on your Amx?"
The 3 way relationship (you / commission based sales associate / husband) are a winning team. She gets a big fat bonus. You get your beautiful bauble. And, your dear husband (The Big Dog) has made you incredibly happy - joy, joy, joy!
Favorite Bauble Show Case (Show Stopper!)
Also Available In Mini Me Sizes
Trips - My favorite kind of surprise! Hopefully, someplace the sun stays up past 5 p.m.
Car - In my opinion, if you are over 21 then transportation should not be construed as a gift but as a necessity.
Technology - If he wants it (new LG 3D flat screen) then don't waste your wishes on it, wink, wink. He can put it on his wish list.
Something for the House
Indulge Decor Blog Insider Tip:
You would look beyond tres chic leaving the gym, walking the dog, driving carpool, or stopping at the grocery store in my new favorite 'Concealer Coat.'
Zobha Asymmetrical Workout Jacket!
Quote from the Editor of 'W' Magazine - "I'm in awe of the so well cut it could be mistaken for Helmut Lang Asymmetrical Jacket."
What a recommendation, wow!
Indulge - Saint Street (S, M, L, $165)
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Gift Certificate (from dearest husband)
If it is his intention to just give 'gift certificates' (wise choice for many undiscerning husbands) then he should be sure to have 'said' store(s) (VCA, Bottega Venetta, Ralph Lauren, Neimans, Saks, YSL, Indulge, . . . . ) gift wrap The Certificate in a beautiful over-sized box to put under the tree to taunt you, tee hee.
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Note to Husbands:
Another 'thought' behind Christmas is redemption. Christmas is a really good time to redeem yourself for whatever incredibly stupid thing(s) you have done over the course of the past year. And, let's be truthful - I'm sure there were plenty.
Please, feel free to (accidently) forward this blog post on to whoever you think needs a friendly push (shove) in the right Christmas direction, hee, hee, hee, ho, ho, ho.