November 26, 2011 8:41:00 PM
The mantles in my home are already adorned with holiday garlands, festive ribbons spilling from underneath branches of twinkling little lights and the Christmas trees dressing up most rooms with fa-la-la. I love the holidays for many reasons, but mostly for the gifts both large and small that I can give to those I adore. Since I trust you can all keep a secret, I will share some splendid things on my shopping list this season.
Many of my girls that love to get all "decorated" with the magic of makeup will find some pretty surprises stuffed in their stockings. One of my favorite things to do is buy the tiny box sets of fragrances at department stores, open them up, swirl big ribbons around them, and toss them into personalized stockings hung by the chimney with more flare than care. Another favorite trick of mine is to save all year the mascara, lipsticks and other treats found in those GWP (gifts with purchase) at the cosmetics counters, because all girls, naughty or nice, love name-brand makeup on Christmas morning.
Are you stuck and don't know what to get that person who seems to have it all? Simple, just surprise and delight with a gift certificate from a beauty salon or spa. I find this works especially well for those on your list who rarely think of themselves, because there is often an expiration date that gives them that little extra push to be appropriately selfish with a pedicure or coiffure.
Don't forget to spoil those who spoil you throughout the year. I am delivering my loot next week to my special dog groomer, dentist, housekeeper and mail carrier. It's usually a box of homemade cookies or cupcakes. OK, I confess that I don't cook, but I know people who do.
One small way I cause big smiles this time of year is by keeping little gifts, perhaps a miniature perfume or a bag of peppermints, in the backseat of my car. Imagine the surprise a drive-through person working the late night shift feels when she gives back my change, and I give her a wrapped gift. Oh, joy! Also, I try to remember to gather up toys and dog food for drop-offs at Toys for Tots and the local animal shelters. In fact, our salon is having a toy drive now through Christmas Eve, and for every unwrapped toy delivered to us, a new or old friend leaves with a gift from us.
I remember how special Christmas was for me as a child, and I cannot rest my head on my pillow on Christmas Eve night (alongside my four beloved canines) without helping our children and pets who are less fortunate. I find it is usually I who get the greatest gift through the giving.
When I was in the first grade, we all wrote our letters to Santa. Mine read: "Dear Santa, bring my daddy a new tractor, my mama a mink coat, and all my brothers toys ... and if you have time for me, any old thing will do!"
Well, things have changed a bit, Santa, I want a cure for cancer, world peace, and an endless supply of pecan-topped divinity colored pink, because it's my favorite. I will enjoy my gifts and share them with one and all. I promise!
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.