In the midst of all the hoopla of the Christmas season. It is so easy to get caught up in the pressure of buying the perfect gift. Trying to outdo last year’s presents for teachers, family and friends, or individuals who help you all year.  I have found in the last few years that happiness during the holiday season doesn’t result from what we receive. It results from what we give.  Also, you don’t need to go crazy and buy the most expensive gift. In order to put a smile on someone’s face.  For me, the best part of the holiday season is really enjoying how NYC transforms into a winter wonderland during this time of year. Watching my daughter light up as she walks by each department store decorated window brings me such joy. 

Listening to the Salvation Army carolers on each block or listening to the bell show go off every hour at Saks Fifth Avenue fills the NYC air with magic compared to the normal honking of cars and taxis.  For those who do not live in Manhattan, there are decorations and tree lighting ceremonies in each town around the country and world. This time of the year is about spending time with your loved ones, making someone’s day a little better, appreciating the things that have gone well in your life that year and looking forward to the next year.  For some, there is a celebration of cultural traditions and spirituality that may be a part of the season.


Some of my best holiday gifts that I have received have been presents which carry sentimental value…

-A hand-made ornament or drawing from my daughter or niece and nephew

-A free night of babysitting

-A knitted sweater or scarf of my favorite colors

-A collage of pictures or special framed picture capturing a special memory

-A tennis lesson from a pro

-Holiday pajamas or slippers

-Good book to read in silence

-A delicious special home cooked meal of my favorite foods

-Hearing the words “I love you” from a special someone

-Decorated mini Christmas tree or wreath

-A free hairstyle session from my hair stylist or free family photo session from a photographer

-Spending a day with someone without any technology and just being present in the moment


This season, I have also enjoyed giving back to others by donating to Toys for Tots, buying a meal for the homeless, participating in a gift drive for the Incarcerated Mothers Program, and providing needed items for the NY Common Pantry or for my local church. It also feels so wonderful to contribute to one of my favorite charities like St. JudeChildren’s Research Hospital or to a new charity like the Tanzanian Children Fund.  In the past I have donated my time and medical services at a clinic and would like to do the same in Haiti, Africa or another part of the world one day.

If you are looking to buy a gift, I love the store Papyrus that has the cutest cards, picture frames, jewelry, and glasses/stemware with empowering or sentimental messages.  

Happy Holiday shopping! Give from the heart!