My mom, sis and I LOVE the holidays.

We live for it. We celebrate Christmas, but it’s about the entire season for us.

We get into and enjoy the whole experience throughout the month of December.

The atmosphere, the shopping, the repetitive songs, Love Actually, the wrapping and most of all surprising each other.

My mom (Debbi) was a FANTASTIC Santa when we were kids and as we got older we wanted return the favor and keep the Santa magic alive.

It turned into a standing tradition where we get each other lots of gifts and wake up together Christmas morning. (Like kids, but we’re not. At all.)

I’m now 39, my sis (Stephanie) she’s 36. We’ve never spent a Xmas morning apart. Boyfriends have come and gone and come again, but we do not, will not, break this tradition.

We sit by the tree for hours with our coffee and the on-demand yule log loop on the TV trying to extend the present opening ceremony as long as we possibly can.

Because we loved the experience so much, we wanted it to last forever.

But more time meant more presents and as the gift list grew, so did the pressure.

It started to lose something and the gifts started to become less meaningful.

They were still nice prezzies, but many of them would end up in a closet or a drawer and in some cases, RE-gifted…. (you know you’ve done it.)

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m a not one of those people who condemns the giving of gifts or “things”. I love gifts & things, they’re a wonderful part of this 3 dimensional realm we live in.

And both giving AND receiving can be an awesome vibe raisers. The trick is to have intention.

Intention makes ALL the difference.

When you pick a gift with intention, or with an outcome or feeling that you want the person to experience from the gift, you’ll feel good for giving it and they’ll feel good receiving it.

It completely shifts the energy of the whole process.

Win/win/win for you, them and the Universe because everyone is feeling good which = high vibey expansive-ness.

And THAT’S what it’s all about.

With this in mind we decided to make it more of a game this year.

A game that would make the experience much richer for all parties involved

It’s no longer about quantity, it’s about quality. And most importantly it’s about intention.

Here’s how it’s all goin’ down:

Each gift will be chosen with an intention for the receiver. What you want them to feel or what you want you want to bring more of into the other person’s life.

We each get 7 thoughtFULL gifts.

(7 may seem like a lot to some and not much to others. Tweak it however you like, but 7 felt good for us.)

1. Something that makes them laugh. (the harder, the better)
2. Something that makes their life easier.
3. Something that feels makes them feel relaxed & comfortable.
4. Something that makes their life more fun.
5. Something that will inspire them.
6. Something for them to anticipate or makes them feel excited.

7. WILD GIFT – Giver’s choice. No rules apply, it’s just something you think they’ll love.

We tried adding pricing limits, but it got too complicated. Way too much math for this time of year.

Having these experiential parameters makes it so much more fun and the gifts will be SO much more thoughtFULL and memorable.

Your receivers will feel that and so will you.

It also makes it LESS stressful because it narrows your choices and focuses the giver.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or buy lots of presents for your holiday you can still play!

Set the intention for whatever you want your receivers to feel from a card, your cookies or just one special gift.

You can even set the intention for them in your mind, energetically.

It’s ALL good! And it all works.

We’re going to talk more about setting intentions for yourself in a couple of weeks. 😉

For now, make sure you’re enjoying the hell out of however you celebrate this holiday season.

And if you have any cool traditions of your own DO tell me all about them in the comments below! I love hearing them.

Super Happy Holidays,




  1. Laura

    I lOVE this game 🙂 I’m all about thoughtful gifts, I start planning away in advance, thinking of a special gift that will do most of the above is always my goal. Can’t wait to give em! Merry Christmas Susan and fam … HO HO HO

  2. Jess

    Love it! I figure that when I eventually have a family/kids, we will do a similar thing, where each gift has a purpose/meaning 🙂

    For my sister and I, it’s always been about the Christmas Stocking! We would fill up a stocking with goodies, including the “story box” lifesavers 🙂

  3. Oeda

    Love this idea Susan! I actually read the whole thing with pleasure and lots of ideas running through my head. I have done my shopping for this year but next year I think we will do something along these lines.
    Thank you for sharing and thank you for being there with Clarity seekers when I started B-school!
    Have a great Christmas! x

  4. Kris McGuinn

    Now that our kids are adults we have established our own Christmas tradition of presents, eating, movie watching, eating, making cookies and homemade chez mix, watching more tv, and finally eating yet again! We love this routine as it beats taking a road trip in holiday traffic. Your post comes at a perfect time! My kids are 26, 23, and 20. We are all kind of “blah” about what to buy for each other. I love this idea of having a special intention with each gift. Thank you so much – I’m actually looking forward to shopping for my family this year 🙂 xxoo


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