The festive season brings with it much anticipation and emotion. Schooled by nostalgic images of Christmases past, we dream of creating the ‘perfect’ celebration, so we indulge in great expectations, which goes hand in hand with soaring stress levels.
But if we just tune into one of the real meanings of this time of year – to show those we love how grateful we are to have them in our lives – we can focus on an aspect of the festivities that is guaranteed to boost our own happiness, too.
Research has found that carrying out kind acts makes us feel more confident, in control and optimistic about our ability to make a difference to people’s lives and connect with them better. Christmas gives us the perfect opportunity to do this.
This year, Psychologies has teamed up with Etsy – the only place where you can find special, unique, one-of-a-kind presents created with love – to bring you a gift guide with a difference. Take a look at our choices for the important people in our lives and let it inspire you to really think about what you can give your loved ones, to say thank you, to show appreciation, to spread joy. Get ready to ‘have yourself a merry little Christmas’.
Gifts we love
Suzy Greaves – editor
“I want to say thank you to my son, Charlie, who has just turned 14, and who has chosen not to go to the teenage dark side but instead, to be kind, supportive and make his old mum laugh on a day-to-day basis. ‘Create not consume’ is one of our mantras, so I think a branding pack for the new, inspirational YouTube channel he is setting up is just the ticket.”
Danielle Woodward – Associate editor
“For my husband, who can’t function without his cup of coffee in the morning and who credits his cuppa as getting him through the last six years of being a stay-at-home dad! Thank you for all your care and nurturing of our children – and for doing the dishes so much more thoroughly than me.”
Vanessa Sey – Production editor
“For my daughter Fjora... Some of us are shoe girls but you’re definitely a handbag girl. I hope you like this one for when you go to university next year. I know it’s a practical gift rather than a sentimental one – but never think you aren’t the love of my life!”
Eminé Rushton – Wellbeing director at large
“There’s nothing like a natural scented candle to create a calming atmosphere for meditation, so I’ll be giving this one to my husband, Paul; every night he turns o the lights, lights a candle, and sinks into a little meditation to round o the day. It’s a lovely ritual to add to your day at any time of year, but it’s particularly lovely in winter, when your body and soul are in need of warmth and comfort.”
Ali Roff – Editor at large
“Mum, I feel so lucky to have you in my life. I remember the beautiful paintings you used to create when my sister and I were growing up and watercolours always remind me of you. This one would look beautiful in your kitchen. Thank you for always being a source of creativity and for nurturing it within me.”
Laura Doherty – Creative director
“This bracelet is a perfect gift for a wonderful friend who has been a huge support to me during a difficult time. She has been a constant little ray of sunlight through a cloudy patch, always thoughtful, always caring and always there. I would like to say thank you for her unshakeable support. Every cloud has a silver, or gold, lining – it’s true!”
Ellen Tout – Features writer and digital editor
“I know this funny yoga mug would make my best friend, Katie, smile. We’ve been friends since we were 11 years old and she’s like a sister to me. We’re just as comfortable meeting for drinks as we are laughing at each other attempting to bend over on our yoga mats into a failed headstand! Through all the ups and downs we’ve experienced, I’m incredibly grateful to have her friendship in my life.”
Elizabeth Heathcote – Features director
“I’d like to buy these cosy welly socks for my friend whom I go walking with. We both have dogs and they are best buddies. We try to make time each weekend for a long walk around the beautiful parks and woods where we live, and we talk all the way, catching up on each other’s week; how work has been, what is going on with our partners and children and anything else. To me, this sharing of our lives, this companionship we are lucky enough to have, is one of the great joys life has to offer.”
Lynne Lanning – Design director
“My sister has struggled with ME and chronic fatigue for 19 years but she is very creative and adores pretty things. I think this necklace personifies her love of nature and beauty and I hope it will lift her spirits when she wears it.”