No, it’s not rude to tell people what you want for Christmas. Here’s why


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It’s always a good time to start considering your Christmas wish list. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we often forget to stop and ask ourselves, “what do I want for Christmas”?

We are usually too busy focusing on everyone else to ask that question, but we deserve to have a magical Christmas full of delight too. In light of that, here are some things to consider to have a wonderful holiday and get everything that you want for Christmas!

What Do I Want for Christmas?

When we focus on getting everyone else that perfect holiday gift, it can be hard to take a step back and figure out what we want for ourselves. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for yourself, consider the five-gift rule for Christmas gift ideas. 


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What is the Five Gift Rule for Christmas?

The five-gift rule is a rule of thumb for buying Christmas presents, but it can work for making your own Christmas wish list as well. The rule is that you should get someone something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

These four things cover the basics, and I’ve seen a wide variety of ideas on what the fifth gift should be. Sometimes it’s something handmade, and other times it’s something to share. However, I think sharing gifts fall under their own category, and you could get a handmade gift that easily falls into wearable gifts or gifts that you want. In my opinion, the best option for the fifth gift is something to do.

The fun thing about the five-gift rule is that it narrows down the types of gifts and makes it easier for you to think about what you want for Christmas. It’s easier to think about something you want to read or something that you need than it is to think about all the possible gift ideas out there.

What Should I Put on My Christmas Wish List?

You should consider the five-gift rule when deciding what to put on your Christmas Wish list. The answers are going to be different for everyone because everyone has different wants and needs. But here are some ideas to get you started!

Something I Want

What do you want? What have you been eyeing that you haven’t bought yourself? It could be a fragrance that you’ve been dying to try or a game that was just released for your favorite console. Maybe you just want a cozy blanket and a self-care basket, or maybe you’re a traveler looking for a perfect gift to help you on your next adventure

If you were thinking about trying a new hobby, this is the perfect opportunity to get started. Ask for paints, a sketchbook, sewing needles, or even one of those all-in-one gift set kits that can help get you started. 

The possibilities are endless. Think about the things that you’ve wanted for the past few months, these are probably the best answers to the question “what do I want for Christmas.”  Put these things at the top of your Christmas Wishlist.

Something I Need

There are a variety of things you may need. It might be that you need new accessories like purses, wallets, or shoes, but it might be that you need new houseware items like pots and pans or bathroom towels.

Be careful not to go overboard with needs. When I was little, my father would always get my mother a new vacuum for special occasions. My mom wasn’t obsessed with cleanliness. She didn’t love vacuuming. While it’s true that the family needed a vacuum, it probably wasn’t the best choice for a personalized gift. I always felt so bad for her when everyone else was getting cool toys and gadgets for the holiday, and she got something to make her do more work.

Make sure that the thing you need is something you will actually enjoy using. Foodies might both enjoy and need a new cookbook, while students or journaling fanatics might both want and need a new notebook.  You don’t have to take one for the team and ask for something that will help you do chores for Christmas.

Something to Wear

Next, consider asking for something to wear. This can fulfill a specific desire, like that amazing leather jacket you’ve been eyeing, or it can be something general like socks, slippers, or winter accessories.

When asking for something to wear, be sure that the gift giver knows your style and size. Be specific about what you want so that you get the right thing that actually fits you. Don’t ask for a new hat; you may end up with a baseball cap when you really wanted a knit winter hat. Ensure that you are specific enough that you will get the item you really want.

Something to Read

Books make amazing Christmas gifts. There are so many books out there on various subjects, and we can order them with the tip of our fingers! Use the holiday as an excuse to dive into a new series or grab a novel that you’ve been wanting to read.

Non-fiction is a winning choice as well. Think back to the subjects that interested you most when you were a child, and browse the books related to that subject. You may respark an interest that is long forgotten.

Books are also great gift ideas because they tend to be low-cost. Most can be found for under twenty bucks, making them a perfect thing to ask for in a Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange.

Something to Do

I prefer activities and events over things. One of the best gifts someone can get me is a scavenger hunt or tickets to see my favorite band live. Even tickets to a museum or theme park would be an awesome gift!

The special thing about a “doing” gift is sharing the experience with the gift giver. It will help build bonds and make your relationship, whether that be parent-child, friendship, or a romantic relationship, much stronger than a material gift.

Other Fun Gift Ideas

There’s a reason why so many people have a different number five in their five things gift guides. There are so many different types of gifts! No wonder it’s so difficult to determine what we want for Christmas. Here are two more great ideas for things to add to your wish list that didn’t make it to the big five.

Something Sentimental

I love sentimental gifts. There’s nothing better than getting a framed photograph of a favorite memory or a relationship scrapbook that shows you how important you are to the other person.

Sentimental gifts can also include things that have special meaning to you. Perhaps you are a super fan of a specific television show or sports team. Getting a keepsake representing the thing you love showcases that the person truly understands you, and there’s nothing more sentimental than that. 

Something Hand Made

It feels amazing to know that someone cares so much about you that they would put time and energy into handcrafting something specifically for you, and this is why homemade crafts make the most thoughtful gifts. 

My best friend’s mother crocheted me a hat and scarf set for Christmas last year, and it was one of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever received. Wearing this set gives me a warm feeling that store-bought items just can’t compete with.

If you have a friend with a special talent, see if they will be willing to make one for you for the holidays. Be sure that you aren’t asking too much, though – don’t ask a random acquaintance to make you ten scarves. This should be an intimate thing between close friends, and you should definitely return the favor in a way that is appropriate for you. 

What Should I Ask for When I Don’t Know What I Want for Christmas?

Hopefully, the rule of five gift guide gave you some ideas of what you might want for Christmas. But if you already have everything you could want or still can’t come up with anything, you still have options.

You can ask for traditional gifts that make it easy for everyone or something that helps someone else. 

Traditional Gifts

You know these gifts. This is what we get the teachers, hairstylists, friend’s mom, and office acquaintances for Christmas. It’s the scented candle, the cute coffee mug, the random pack of coasters. The little item that it never hurts to have more of.

These traditional gifts also include gift cards, candy boxes and those fun gift sets that you find everywhere around Christmas time. These things are easy to find and usually low cost, so if your goal for your Christmas wish list is to make Christmas shopping easier for those around you, these are great options. You will probably get good use out of them too!

Something That Helps Someone Else

A more altruistic Christmas gift benefits someone else. Rather than asking for a gift for yourself, you can ask that the gift giver donate money to a charity in your name. This is a great option if you have everything you want, and it shows the giver that materialistic things aren’t always necessary.

 Another way you can make your gift help others is by asking for something that the entire family can enjoy. This can be tickets to an event or something to eat like a nice cake. If the giver is planning on spending a lot of money on you, you can ask for something like a new television or computer that everyone can use.

A final thing you can ask for is help at a charity. If you want for nothing, ask folks to volunteer their time as a gift to you. You can bond with the people you care about while working for a worthy cause. Be sure to check with the charity and make sure they need help before arranging to go – sometimes occasional volunteers can disrupt the activity and make things harder for everyone.

If there isn’t a charity that needs help, you can organize your own food drive or collect box tops for the local schools. You can volunteer to pull weeds at a local park or community garden. You can even go and pick up litter at the local park. There are tons of things you can do to help make your community a better place.

Unique Gift Ideas

When deciding what you want for Christmas, a final thought is to consider unique gifts you can find online. Find something that inspires you on Etsy, look for unique shirts on T-Public, or learn something from offerings on Gum Road.

An advantage to asking for these types of things for Christmas is that all purchases support individual creators rather than large corporations. When you buy something on Etsy or Gumroad, you’re supporting a small creator, which adds a bonus to the gift-giving experience.

You can find anything from digital products to handmade jewelry to specially designed mugs and shirts on these platforms, and the creators will appreciate the purchases far more than the Walmart’s of the world will.

Stocking Stuffers

When thinking about the perfect Christmas gifts, don’t forget the stocking stuffers! Even if you are the stocking stuffer in your home, that doesn’t mean you should miss out. It just means that you can fill your own stocking with whatever you want!

Skincare products make wonderful stocking stuffers for yourself. Get yourself some luxurious lotions, bubble baths, and bath bombs that you can use for self-care. When getting it for yourself, you can pick the perfect combination of fragrances and indulge in the bath that is perfect for you.

Other great stocking stuffers include things like sunglasses (you wouldn’t think they’d be needed in the wintertime, but they are!), candies, small gadgets, batteries, and even little sentimental toys. A journal and a fancy pen set might fit into your stocking as well!

More Holiday Gift Guides

Although we focused on your personal Christmas wish list, we know that one of your main goals is to create wonderful Christmas memories for your loved ones and enjoy a festive holiday season. To that end, we’ve created a variety of gift-giving guides to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. We have specific gift guides for gamers and artists and a general gift guide based on personality types. You are sure to find the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on your list in these guides!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Christmas is the season of giving. Have a wonderful holiday season, and embrace the spirit by giving gifts and making others happy. But don’t forget to ask yourself, “what do I want for Christmas” to make sure you get everything your heart desires as well. You deserve it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This article originally appeared on Partners in Fire and was syndicated by

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14 holiday gift ideas for people who hate gifts

Most of us end up giving tangible presents to family and friends, especially during the holidays. Wrapped in paper and bows, gifts seem to be an immovable fixture of the holiday season.

If you have a millennial or GenXer in your life, then you may have discovered that buying gifts may not be your best option. These days it’s all about collecting “experiences.”

Younger generations tend to place less value on owning things. Think about it. The most successful retailer in America right now, Amazon, has no stores. The largest transportation service, Uber, doesn’t own any vehicles, and the most popular place for people to stay while traveling, Airbnb, doesn’t own any hotels.

Younger generations are also increasingly living in rentals instead of owning houses. And with the rise of Marie Kondo and the minimalist aesthetic, people are decluttering their lives rather than acquiring new things.

All of this can make getting gifts for your children and grandchildren a daunting proposition. You may feel that buying an “experience” is a cop out. But, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, giving an experience as a gift instead of a thing “forges stronger bonds between people.”

With that in mind we have put together a list of fantastic experiences you can gift to your friends, family, and little ones this holiday season.

These gifts may not fit in a stocking, but they will create memories that can last for a lifetime, the gift that keeps on giving if you will.

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Give the gift of the great outdoors. An annual National Parks pass costs $80. This covers entry for two people for 12 months into any of the 2,000 federal recreation sites including the 58 National Parks, which span over 84 million acres.

If your loved one is in the Military, the pass is free, and if you are giving this as a gift to a Senior (defined by the parks as some over over 62) it is $80 for a lifetime pass and $10 for an annual pass. Go explore.

Escape rooms are wildly popular right now. These experiences are like video games brought to life. An escape room is a live action adventure game where you and your team are placed in a themed room and must solve clues and puzzles in an hour in order to escape.

Clues are hidden under rugs, secret codes are written in books and the tasks requires teamwork and skill to complete.

To find a local escape room use a service like Google or Yelp to locate one in your area, and you can also read the reviews to make sure you find the best theme to fit the interests of your recipients.

Some themes include; criminal investigations, escaping zombies, rescue missions and even something as innocent as cake baking! Great for a day of family fun.

You could of course buy tickets for a family trip to the circus, but why only watch when you could take part? Circus classes have been hugely popular in the fitness world for a number of years now and they appeal to both adults and children.

Most circus schools offer a variety of classes in disciplines such as; trapeze, silks, juggling, stilt walking and tightrope. If you’re not sure which class to invest in, most schools also offer a sampler class. This class, or series of classes, usually includes a little of everything so that your recipient can sample the many different skills it takes to be a circus performer. Perfect for adults or kids – together or separately. Clown shoes and teeny-tiny car not included.

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Most of us have done scavenger hunts as kids. I remember an epic one my dad created for my 9th birthday which ended with us literally digging up a box of treasure in the yard. The fact that I can still remember it is testimony to the fun a scavenger hunt can be.

For this gift you can purchase a professional hunt here that takes you all around your local city or you could even create your own. Great for smaller children, a scavenger hunt can take many forms and even end with a little prize or toy.

Don’t worry too much about the prize though, I don’t remember what my dad put in that treasure chest, but I do remember the fun we had trying to find it.

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Spa days were once for “ladies who lunch” but these days spas are for everyone. In many cities, spas are now free standing establishments not merely sequestered in fancy hotels. Korean day-spas for example, can be found in many major cities all over the US and they provide a spa experience at a very reasonable price.

Treatments often included in day-spa packages include, saunas, steam rooms, salt rooms, mineral baths, with massage treatments available for an additional cost. The spas usually include a place to have lunch and often a rooftop deck to relax on too.

Turkish hammams offer a similar experience. Great for mothers and daughters.

While we’re on the topic of wellness, why not consider gifting a stressed-out family member a yoga retreat for the post-holiday season?

A yoga retreat promises to relax body, mind, and soul by taking the practice of yoga and meditation in a beautiful, natural setting. A retreat can allow you to reset, connect with nature and feel a sense of rejuvenation, health, and happiness. Who wouldn’t want that? One of our favorites is Kripalu in Massachusetts, but many other are available.

Immersive theater differs from traditional theater by removing the stage and immersing audiences within the performance itself. Often, this is accomplished by the use of a specific location, allowing audiences to explore the various sets and converse with the actors.

Shows take places in venues that typically are not traditional theater spaces, old hotels have been used in shows, as have office buildings and even an abandoned psychiatric hospital.

This type of theatrical experience is best enjoyed with a friend or family member as you can explore together, or have you own adventure and compare notes later. Immersive theater companies are located throughout the States and many of them tour too.

A great one to catch if you can is the British group Punchdrunk Theatre Co. who actually created the genre, they often tour the US and have an ongoing collaboration with St Anne’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY. A cool and unusual gift.

I recently heard a child refer to an aquarium as “the liquid zoo” and it was too good not to share here. Kids love aquariums, and with new exhibits opening regularly, it pays to have a pass. What a sweet gift to give to a child who loves animals.

According to USA Today the top aquarium in the country is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so if you’re based in that neck of the woods I’d say a season pass is a must.

With the global success of dance shows such as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, ballroom and latin dance classes are making a huge comeback.

Unlike ballet, ballroom and latin dancing is incredibly sociable and you’ll find lots of newcomers in the classes. Check out your local schools to find the right class for your friends or family.

If you’re looking for another form of dance to try why not give Brazilian Zouk a shot? Brazilian Zouk is a partner dance that became popular in the 90’s and evolved from the dance known as the Lambada. Improvisation plays a large role in this dance style so it’s perfect for beginners.

Home economics used to feature heavily in schools, but these days it’s almost non-existent. A cooking class can set up a youngster with skills for life, as well as being a fun day spent whipping up treats.

If you have a friend who is a lover of The Great British Baking Show, maybe look for a cake decorating class. Other options include pasta-making, Indian cookery, and even sushi classes.

The options are endless and, if you’re lucky, they may bring around the fruits of their labor for you to sample!

Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it can be incredibly expensive. Consider gifting a loved one vouchers for a flight or hotel (or both) that they can use at their leisure.

While you may not cover the cost of the entire vacation, you can make an out of reach destinations more manageable. Hotel vouchers can even be used for weekend getaways.

Combine this voucher with the promise of babysitting and you’ll have some very happy and grateful kids. This gift is also great as a wedding present.

This unusual hobby is a great form of exercise and also a perfect kid’s party idea. You can gift a class pass or even purchase a party. It’s pretty fun for the grown-ups too, not to mention it’s one hell of a workout combing strength and cardio.

Climbing gyms have been popping up all over the country. Get on Google to find your local indoor rock climbing center.

Even though physical gifts may not be right for your children or grandchildren, gifts are a great way to give back to your community. Instead of exchanging presents with your family, pool your resources and spend an afternoon together creating gift baskets for local charities and shelters.

Women’s refuges constantly need donations. Before you create your baskets call the shelter to ask about their donation policies but, commonly requested items include, diapers, feminine hygiene products, books, transportations passes, old cell phones and toiletries.

You can spend time with your family and know you are helping another family to have some comfort.

One of the most precious gifts we can give another person is our time. A fun way to offer this is to create a book of love coupons. Styled like a traditional coupon book, you can label each one with things to do together.

For example “baking cookies with grandma,” or “a trip to the park” or “a night’s baby-sitting.” The recipient can use these whenever they like, all they need to do is present you with the voucher and pick a date.

Be creative and you may even find your social calendar is filled up before the end of January.

Have a wonderful holiday season this year and enjoy creating memories together, and being present – that’s the real gift.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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