Instead of shopping or going to another party – make time for intimacy.  Create a gentle and tender space where both partners can feel safe, loved and accepted for what they are able to bring to the partnership.  This might be an evening of hot cocoa and an old movie.   Maybe it is a walk on a cold evening where you can see your breath as you speak.   Whatever will actually help you to remember and appreciate  what you love about your partner is the best gift you can give each other in this holiday season.   Creating the time for an intimate holiday might actually provide a whole new understanding of the idea of burning the yuletide fire and could actually get one going.

Make your holiday gift giving lasting power by focusing on gifts that can feed your connection and relationship.   Create a special private time to exchange gifts that inspire intimacy.   Silk sheets and lingerie lure you into spending more time in the bedroom where real loving gifts can be exchanged.  Give yourselves permission to explore   intimacy gifts that open up a  world of  loving touch and passion.  Things that come to mind are beautiful Lelo pleasure objects, or rabbit fur mitts to massage each other with.  .

Consider feeding all of your senses when you give gifts to enhance the pleasure and connection in your relationship.  Giving the gift of scent is a great way to wake up the limbic part of your brain, where emotion, sexuality and memory are usually sleeping. Include a hand made coupon for a sensuous massage to seal the deal.

Gift giving at its best shows the people that we love that we know them and appreciate them for who they are.  I am always deeply touched when my husband picks out something that he knows that I would choose for myself.  It tells me that he is paying attention to the small details of what matters for me.   The idea that it’s the thought that counts is cliché because it is so true.  When my kids search all over town for a better container for my tea than the last one they gave me, they are telling me that they know how much I need my tea.  When we give people that we love gifts that are about us, proving something about our spending ability or what we think they should be like, even the best of intentions can easily be misread.  Many women would rather have a new bottle of their favorite night crème than a bottle of expensive perfume, because the night crème says I see how you live and I love you.

The Gift of  Presence

It’s easy to get so lost in the momentum of holiday activities and the seemingly endless to-do-lists that we forget what the holidays are for.  There is always more to do than there is time for, and probably never quite so acutely as during the holidays.  Gift giving drives a lot of the frenzy and although we can point to all the cultural mania driving us to purchase our good holiday feelings, for many of us there is a legitimate desire to really give something that feels meaningful and is a true reflection of our love.

Every now and again we are fortunate enough to know of a particular thing that is desired… Better still when we have the exact make and model number… but short of those golden opportunities where the desire matches our ability to give, there is precious little that we can offer in the way of material goods that can communicate our deepest feelings.  The power of advertising further complicates this by making us believe that certain gifts will speak volumes about our love- diamonds, flowers and fine chocolate are a few that come to mind.

While those are all nice gifts, I don’t know if I have ever gotten a more authentic sense of my partner’s love for me than when he has taken the time and gotten over the inconvenience factor to show up for me.  Some years this has been in the small mundane tasks of trying to get gifts wrapped for our four kids late into the night.  Other holidays, it was night after night of drawing a bath for me and reminding me to give myself the attention I so readily give away to others.   A couple of romantic holidays ago, it was making a romantic bed by the fireplace.   The best gifts have always been him giving himself.

Giving the gift of our presence is the best because what we all want most is to know that we are not alone in the world.  What this looks like in a day to day way is that our partner is committed not only in words but in actions as well to helping meet our needs.  Feeling like there is someone at your back who cares enough to help, makes our lives and our relationships sustainable.   It’s a gift that keeps on giving and is never the wrong size or color.  It is the most precious gift of all.