The ritual of giving presents. It seems so very basic. We think of a person, choose something that is likely to put a smile on their faces, wrap it nicely and hand over on the day. Admittedly, I've always thought more about the people and the process of choosing a perfect gift than the aftermath of my action. Somehow as long as the present was enjoyable, the wrapping paper, bows and cards met my expectations, ti was the finale, the happy end of yet another story. But was it, really?
This year, one of the hardest and emotionally-challenged years of them all, I suddenly realised that giving a humble present to somebody is not just another way to top up their endorphin levels. Because every gift, if you think about it, can make a new memory and, on a large scale of thing - possibly change the course of life.
Every terrible present is a ticket to shuttered dreams and soul disharmony, like a shadowy cloud on a sunny day, while a great one is a rainbow, a moment of joy and happiness that will never be forgotten.
What can be better than that?
I remember the moments of best presents just as vividly as do the worst. And every time I have a dab day, I turn to the precious little things that still carry those heartwarming memories that make me feel myself again. For example, opening a jar of almond moisturiser, L'Occitane iconic body butter, always takes me back to Paris when I was gifted my first ever potion.
Back then I heard about the brand, hardly known in the UK, from a fashion model. She swore by it and passionately advised everyone to get a few jars of Almond Concentre de Lait when in France. Naturally I felt rather excited about trying it. After all, could you think of a better place and occasion to indulge in of the the French beauty classic than in Paris in a midst of cherry blossom scented spring?
I felt in love with the velvety comforting fragrance of my almond cream instantly and for years it was the only one I'd use. Not only it would transport me back to the blissful Parisian mornings, but also made me feel beautiful.
And this is the magic of a gift - the ability to make a woman feel amazing in her own skin, here, now and as the time goes by. Whether she inhales an intoxicating perfume, tries on a fabulous dress, opens a box hiding a pair of prettiest shoes or discovers a book promising another captivating adventure through space and time... The time full of special moments that restore the sensation of beauty, happiness, joy, love, balance, comfort...
Too much philosophy? I hope not. Even if it is, here's a little SOS gift guide from me to you - go on, indulge, make new memories. Happy holidays and all the very best for the new year.
Shop: 1. Scarf, 2. Body cream, 3. Earrings, 4. Bracelet, 5. Dress, 6. Sunglasses, 7. Cuff, 8. Book, 9. Sandals, 10. Perfume, 11. Lingerie, 12. Clutch bag
Photo source: Amanda Welsh for Vogue Spain December 2015 (photography: Alvaro Beamud Cortes, styling: Marina Gallo