Christmas is a snowball’s throw away and we’re knee-deep in watching comfy reruns of the Harry Potter movies. Because it’s been a tough year, we want to get you Pandas into the holiday mood. The team here at Bored Panda thinks that the best way to do this is to show off some of the most heartwarming Christmas gifts that surprised people in the best possible way.
Prepare your faces for smiling too wide, get your Christmas stockings ready for all the cheer you’re about to find, and remember to upvote your fave pics. Let us know which pics inspired you the most and we’d love to hear about the best Winter holiday surprise you’ve ever gotten or given, too!
Whatever your gift, it’s the intent and the emotions behind it that count. You might get a lonely sock for Christmas, but it can mean the entire world to you if you’re like Dobby the house-elf. Similarly, you might open your stocking to find the brand new tech gadget you’ve been eyeing, but it’ll barely mean anything if your Secret Santa only did it because they felt pressured and ran out of options (‘Spirit of Giving’ batteries not included).
Bored Panda was curious to learn about how surprises work on a psychological level and what to do if you feel like nothing can surprise you anymore. So we reached out to Natasha Page, an accredited BACP Integrative Counselor and Psychotherapist, as well as the founder of 'My Little Therapy Box,' a therapeutic resource that helps support people's emotional health. Read on to see what Natasha told us.
An Elementary School Bus Driver Asked Every Kid On His Bus What They Wanted For Christmas. He Bought Every Child A Gift
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Wholesome Christmas Gifts
Psychotherapist Natasha told Bored Panda that a surprise is something that we want or are happy to get. "We feel good because, for most of us, being surprised means someone has taken the time to think about you and, normally, the intention behind a surprise is to make others feel good. Another person has tried to do something positive for you to enjoy," she said.
However, it's not all candy canes and lollypops when it comes to surprises. Unexpected gifts can create negative feelings, too.
"On the flip side of this, a surprise could also make someone feel guilty, for example, if they haven't spent the same amount of money on a gift for the other person or if they view the surprise, gift, or gesture in a negative light," Natasha pointed out. She added that some people can see gifts as someone trying to show off their status or exert control over them, instead of viewing it as an act of kindness.
The Best Christmas Present
My Brother Never Fails To Disappoint With His Personalised Christmas Gifts - This Year He Made Me A Calendar
My Wife Gave Birth To A Child That Is Not Hers, For A Couple That Has Desperately Wanted One For Over Ten Years. Surrogacy Can Be Hard, But I Witnessed Her Give The Greatest Christmas Gift Ever. I Am So Proud Of Her!
There are some people who are naturally more averse to surprises, whether they're good or bad. We wanted to learn more about this. Here's what psychotherapist Natasha told us: "Sometimes, people who may be struggling with low self-esteem or issues relating to things in their past (such as childhood abuse or trauma) may find accepting surprises or gifts overwhelming."
She said that some people can end up thinking that they don't deserve the surprise. "It could, for some people, even hold negative connotations such as receiving gifts from a past abuser." However, each case is unique and personal because of the subjective associations each person makes with getting gifts.
My 14-Year Old Son Built This Coffee Table For His Sister And Her Boyfriend As A Christmas Gift. It Measures 28” X 42” And Is Made Of Red Oak With Red Oak Stain And Polyurethane Finish
On Christmas Morning After We Had Opened All The Gifts, Travis Said He Had One More Big Gift For Me. I Was A Little Confused On Why He Had Gotten Me A Barstool But Once I Sat Down And Looked At Him, I Immediately Knew What Was Happening. He Later Told Me That The Stool Is From The Bar We Met
For Christmas Last Year, I Got My Alzheimer's-Stricken Grandma This Hat As A Gift. She Thought It Was Really Fashionable And Still Wears It Around All The Time
But what about when people are cynical to the point that nothing ever surprises them and they feel like life doesn't have much to offer anymore? Natasha suggests that people who feel like this might be struggling with depression, low mood, or may have lost their optimism because of the adversities they've had to face in life.
"Some clients I have worked with have had difficult life experiences that may impact how they view the world around them," she said. According to Natasha, some might think that having this sort of mindset is a negative thing. However, she suggests looking at things slightly differently.
My Friend Is Terrible At Flirting. She Asked This Guy If He Liked Bread As An Opener And A Year Later They Are Together And He Made This For Her Christmas Gift
In 1983 I Told My 14-Year-Old Girlfriend To "Just Get Me A Rock" For Christmas. She Did. I Married Her. 35 Years Later We Are Still Together, I Still Have It, And It Is The Most Precious Gift I Have Ever Received
My Friend And I Replaced Christmas With Brucemas, Where We Exchange Bruce Willis Themed Gifts Each Year. I Win Forever. (And Yes It's Real)
"Don't try to do anything, let them hold their views, we're all individuals and we all go through our own unique journey in life. However, I think the year we have all had with Covid-19 has demonstrated that there are many things that may come and surprise us, whether in a positive or negative way."
(We know that it's been a tough year, dear Pandas. If you live in the UK and want to speak to a counselor about relationships and emotional and wellbeing issues during the holiday season, you can find a BACP therapist near you right here. Don't be shy—they're here to help.)
Gave My Pirate-Loving Landlord His Christmas Gift Last Night: January's Rent. In Coins. His Response: "You're Both Awesome And A Huge Asshole."
My Wife Found Out That 60% Seniors In Nursing Homes Have No Visitors And Get Nothing For Christmas. So She Held A Small Fundraiser And Put Together 61 Gift Bags For A Local Nursing Home. Each Bag Contains Chapstick, Lotion, Tissues, A Word Search Book A Pen, And A Blanket
My Daughter Always Steals Printer Paper To Draw On So For Christmas I Wrapped A Pack Of 500 Pages Of Paper. She Started Running Around Screaming With Excitement. Easiest Present Ever
There are gifts that make you happy. And then there are those that make you extatic. For like a moment. Until you realize—this is going to be more trouble than it’s worth. That’s why you should always be very careful before gifting somebody a pet.
They might have sighed longingly about how much they want a pupperino or a pony. But let’s face facts: what are they going to do with those lovely animals if they’re living in a studio apartment with two other people, eating dehydrated noodles for dinner?
Now, this one might sound obvious, but obviously don’t regift something that you got and didn’t like. It’s a cop-out. It’s low. And it’ll get you on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list faster than you can say ‘Ho-ho-ho!’ Instead, if you really want to surprise your loved ones, go for something deeply personal. Putting your unique creative spin on even a cliched gift idea can result in something heartfelt and something that’s bragged about to every acquaintance ever. Don’t overthink it. Trust your heart.
My Grandma’s Face When She Opened The Gift I Crocheted For Her..
For Christmas, my wife got a recording from Christmas 1973, the last year her grandmother was alive before breast cancer took her. My wife wasn't born until 1976. This is the first time she has ever heard her grandmother's voice.