Christmas shopping made easy and simple. Doesn’t that sound delightful?
I cannot deny that the giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas fills me with pure child-like delight. In previous years (and when I say ‘previous’, I refer to my childhood self), I have been known to unashamedly compose and circulate a comprehensive list, when asked by my close family members if there is anything in particular that I would like – my birthday falls shortly after Christmas so there was opportunity for a sizeable haul on a good year (a ‘good’ year was defined by a year in which I was, on the whole, well-behaved). I would then proceed to ransack the house for possible clues as to what they may have bought for me – I knew all the best hiding places and this would often involve devious distraction techniques and sneaking around after dark, stacking various objects dangerously high and precariously balancing on top of them to fully inspect the possible and so-called ‘out of reach’ locations. This was a risky business – a strictly solo operation as my older sister was far too obedient to indulge in such rebellious activity and I knew that my parents would be furious with me – not to mention the potential to give my game away. On the odd occasion I can recall coercing my sister into helping me but I was always the instigator, reassuring her that I would accept full responsibility and that this was absolutely the right thing to do. You really had to have your wits about you though and the fear of getting caught was fuelled with adrenaline – the thrill of catching a glimpse of something was irresistible and thoroughly addictive.
I am sure I am not alone in my admittance of that shameful behaviour and I should add that I was not grossly spoilt as a child and more often than not, the best things were indeed the simplest things. Nevertheless, with maturity I have moved on from this notion (my taste has become much more expensive, for one!) but still find such joy in giving and receiving gifts – the element of surprise, the twinkle in your recipient’s eye as they uncover their gift and the sight of sparkling wrapping paper with big bows under the tree – it’s magical and wonderful and there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, with age (in most cases) comes maturity on some level and a shift in perspective – an evolution of the way in which we see things, if you like. I have grown to appreciate the small things in life much more – something which has been exacerbated by the current and ongoing pandemic and I also see great sense in Martin Lewis’ mantra of ‘let’s work together to ban unnecessary Christmas presents’ (if you haven’t watched this episode then you should – google it)! Time is a strange, almost incomprehensible phenomenon – it passes you by before you know what’s hit you and if you’re not careful, it’s gone and you’ve missed it. I’ve realised that I don’t really care too much for material ‘things’ and above all, I really just want to spend time with my family and friends and I absolutely know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Freedom is something which we have all been so deprived of over the majority of the past year and although I acknowledge the rationale for keeping our distance, now more than ever, many of us just simply want to spend time together – whenever we want to and wherever we want to. I used to see this as a basic human right – a given and all of a sudden it feels like the most coveted thing on earth – time together is the greatest gift of all.
So, whatever your views on Christmas gifts or indeed the current situation with which we are all faced, we must try our best not to give up hope – there is light at the end of the tunnel and whilst I would not encourage you to wish the present time away, it is comforting to know that time and freedom are luxuries to look forward to. This is optimism.
Our brand new Gift Vouchers have launched in time for Christmas and we are delighted with the updated design – aren’t they smart?
We have two types of Gift Voucher; those for a specific cruise type and those which hold a set monetary value, for your recipient to choose their cruise themselves. The vouchers have a 2-year expiry date, allowing plenty of time for them to be used and as I am sure you are aware, we operate throughout the year.
For more information or to order your Gift Voucher online, please click on the button below and whatever you choose to gift this year, I hope that it will be gratefully received.