How Can I Get in Touch With My Inner Santa? | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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How Can I Get in Touch With My Inner Santa? 

Published December 20, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated December 21, 2023 at 11:42 a.m.

click to enlarge ID 197439458 © ZTOALPHABET | DREAMSTIME
  • ID 197439458 © ZtoAlphabet | Dreamstime

Dear Reverend,

I love getting gifts for my friends and family when something jumps out at me that's perfect for them, but I hate feeling obligated to buy Christmas presents. I spend too much time thinking about what to get, and I wind up panic-buying stuff that doesn't seem particularly meaningful. How can I get in touch with my inner Santa?

Noel Howe (woman, 32)

Dear Noel Howe,

When I was a kid, I absolutely adored reading. But when I had to read a book for school, I would often just skim through it or avoid it altogether. When I feel required to do something, it can take the joy right out of whatever it is. So I get where you're coming from. To be honest, I feel the same way about gifts and can share a few tips that have helped me handle the holidays.

As the perfect gifts jump out at you throughout the year, get them and stash them away for the big day. Just remember to put them in a special spot where you won't forget about them.

A more immediate idea: Instead of searching for something that they might love, change your focus and share something that you love. It could be anything: a copy of your favorite book; the best bottle of wine you ever had; a gift certificate to the place that serves, in your opinion, the world's best eggs Benedict. Even better if it's something from a local business or a friend who makes stuff. If you're shopping for a kid, find some version of your favorite thing from when you were their age.

Here's an often-overlooked gifting fact: It's perfectly OK to give the same thing to a bunch of people. Last year, I ordered socks with my face on them and gave a pair to all of my best buds. Goofy and random? Certainly. But were they a hit? Absolutely.

You could also go wild and suggest skipping gifts altogether. Your friends and family may be just as flummoxed as you and find it a big relief. Instead of spending money on stuff that doesn't mean anything, spend time together and make memories. After all, that's the greatest gift anyone can get — or give.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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The Reverend

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What's your problem? Need some irreverent counsel on life's conundrums? You can always just "Ask the Rev."

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