As a child, it was always tempting to think of the big, shiny extravagant present which would be the best one.  Even as adults we get easily drawn into the most expensive or lavish present being 'the best one ever'.

It was interesting to note however, that the Squibblets (our daughters) have spent equally long, if not longer, spending their attention with stocking fillers rather than main presents.  From a 'sew it yourself' doll kit, to some tiny Disney princess figures, joy has been derived from the least expected sources.  As a child myself, I remember the year I had a Dusty Bin - that bin went everywhere with me, not the, most expensive present which I received.

This then started me thinking, what were the presents I found most delight in, and why - so here they are - my top five in no particular order :

Moodles - Grumpy, Happy and Stressed - these are great books which ask you to draw your feelings, things which stir you up and so on.  As a random example, in the Stressed book, we have "you're at a crossroads in your life, draw what's on the various paths you could go down".  In the Happy book "draw 4 beautiful things you have seen today".  The books promote thought, appreciation and reflection, everything which we focus on at Serenity, and many things which most people forget to look for in a busy society.  This gift reminds me to stop, reflect and appreciate.

2017 Yoga Cat Calendar - A calendar is handy, but one which has information about the benefits of yoga poses, and at the same time merges fun and cats - its superb.  Although I practise yoga daily, it is easy to miss the understanding and benefits of each exercise.  This gift brings be insight, happiness and joy.

Jogging / yoga pants - I love the end of the day when I can unwind in comfortable clothes. Similarly, first thing in the morning, be it unwinding after a run, completing a yoga session, or feeling comfortable whilst writing.  These grey jogging / yoga pants are just perfect.  From these, I feel comfort, ease and relaxation.

3 Goats for a family in Niger - Rather than have a gift for gifts sake, what could be better than 3 goats to help a family to breed, milk and feed themselves over time.  Creating an income, a sustainable life, and a source of nutrition.  I am touched by the thought which went into this, that my sister reads my articles and understands what is important to us, and also that this is truly a gift which will keep giving.

A Tin and Enamel Poldhu Cove Mug -  My grandparents used to have a white and blue enamel mug, and of course, when I saw this retro item at our favourite beach, I was sorely tempted to buy one.  With some distraction a few days before Christmas when all four of us sat on the beach drinking hot chocolates, my wife managed to buy one to surprise me.  Every time I look at this, it brings me memories of my grandparents, memories of a great (yet chilly) morning on the beach, fondness for the great times we spend there throughout the year, and joy in anticipation of our next trip to beautiful Poldhu.

So my favourite Christmas gifts this year brought me : reflection, appreciation, insight, happiness, joy, comfort, ease, relaxation, benevolence, memories, and anticipation.  What did you get in your stocking?