I’ve been debating with myself whether to share gift guides on the blog for best friends, boyfriends, or parents… And although I enjoy reading those wishlists put together by others, I realized no one knows your best friend, boyfriend or parents as well as you do. So to me personally, I think there is no point in giving any suggestions about what to give your loved ones for Christmas. Because let’s face it: first of all, these presents should come from your heart, and secondly, I still think quality time is the most precious gift you can give someone you love. So instead of putting together a list of material things for besties, boyfriends or parents, I’d like to share a list of activities with you which should serve as little inspiration on how to gift time for Christmas.
FOR YOUR MAMA:
Especially during Christmas (and actually all year around) our Moms are doing so much for us. They always put us kids first, no matter how old we are. I have a very strong bond with my mom that I’m very thankful for. But since I moved out of my parents’ house to a different city 6 years ago already, I don’t get to see my Mom as much I’d love to anymore. Therefore, quality time with her got even more important over the past several years. There’s nothing better than a whole day of mommy-daughter time, which involves lots of talking, laughing and drinking way too much coffee in our case. So why not treat your Mom and yourself to a spa day? Just the two of you, steam baths, massages and a relaxing afternoon. There are several hotels around Salzburg that offer Day Spa packages. One of my favorites is Hotel Gmachl in Bergheim, which was completely renovated just recently. The view at their rooftop spa is breathtaking and definitely worth a visit.
FOR YOUR PAPA:
When thinking of Christmas as a little girl, one of my favorite memories with my Dad – except for getting a Christmas tree together – is going to the movies with him. Back then, going to the movies was one of the coolest things you could do… Getting popcorn, drinking a soft drink and watching a movie on a big cinema screen was simply exciting. Today I know my Dad took me there so my Mom had an afternoon to herself to wrap presents and take care of all kinds of organizational stuff for Christmas, I could of course not be at home for… Nevertheless, to me it was one of the biggest treats to spend this whole afternoon with my Dad and I always enjoyed it to the fullest. During one of my Dad’s visits in Salzburg last year, we went to watch a James Bond movie together and I somehow felt like that little girl again, who was all excited and giggly. It just made me so happy to sit next to one of my favorite people in the whole world, share popcorn with him and just enjoy his presence. Sometimes it’s really just the smallest things that bring the most happiness.
Just think of something you used to do with your Dad when you were a kid, and do exactly this activity together with him for old times’ sake. No matter if it’s going to the movies, heading out for a day of skiing, or playing Mario Kart on your old and dusty Nintendo 64. I’m sure he’ll love waking down memory lane and spending time with you!
FOR YOUR BESTIE:
Similar to the situation with my parents, I also get to see my friends not as often as I wish. Luckily, one of my best friends actually lives in Salzburg, so I get to see her for spontaneous coffee dates every other week. Also my two other best friends just recently moved a little closer to Salzburg, which makes it a whole lot easier to plan bestie weekends together. However, in my mind I still hope one day we will all live in the same city and raise our babies together (yes ladies, I won’t give up on that wish just yet!). Until then, weekend trips to Munich and Vienna aren’t that bad and always so much fun! A few weeks ago I visited my bestie in Munich and we went for a massive brunch, followed by a stroll through the city, a fun dinner and watching a movie at home. When driving back to Salzburg the next day, my heart was filled with so much joy and love, and I was reminded again that nothing beats spending time with the people you love. Here are three ideas for some Christmas quality time with your besties:
- BRUNCH INVITATION: Well, of course! Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love brunching. And so do my girls… My favorite place for brunch in Salzburg is Restaurant Paradoxon. Brunch is offered exclusively on Saturdays and booking a table is highly recommended.
- MANI PEDI INVITATION: Getting my nails done together with my bestie, chatting about all the girly stuff and contemplating for way too long on what nail polish to go for? Yes, please! My number one place for a manicure and pedicure in Salzburg is The Nailbar. It’s open from Tuesday to Saturday and I recommend to book your appointments in advance.
- DINNER & BOARD GAME INVITATION: There’s no place like home, so why go out when you can also cook for your friends? If you can’t cook, just order Pizza… But the best part about an invitation at your house is that you can play some games after dinner. I was just recently introduced to the game Settlers of Catan (dt. Siedler von Catan) and couldn’t believe I’ve never played it before. So much fun! It’s time to get out those old board games!
FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER:
I think we can all agree on the fact that finding the perfect present for our significant other can be both stressful but also very rewarding at the same time. On the one hand, there is no one who knows our partners better than us, and on the other hand we really want to surprise them with something very special. And that can be super tricky. I think it’s great how every couple finds their own way of giving presents… some rather go on holidays or trips together, others get something for their shared home they’ve wanted for long. And yet others just don’t want to give up on giving and receiving little surprises. You’ve guessed correctly: I am one of the latter. However, these surprises of course don’t have to be anything super big. I think it’s rather about listening to your partner throughout the year and then surprising him or her with something he or she has mentioned a while ago… Frankly speaking, with my boyfriend these wishes are mostly composed of new lenses for his camera or some other technical stuff that’s rather pricey. But, I successfully organized his Christmas present already and can’t wait to see his face when he opens it.
Other than little surprises that come in neatly wrapped boxes, of course the time we get to spend together is the biggest treat for us. I am sure all couples have special locations that mean a lot to them. For us, one of these locations is the Gaisberg in Salzburg. We love going there on a regular basis for a walk, good talks or just to sit there and stare at the marvelous view. So how about a little date at your favorite spot? Pack a picknick basket, fill your tumblers with mulled wine and take a big blanket to sit on, and you’re good to go. If that’s too outdoorsy for you, how about treating yourself to a lovely dinner somewhere nice? In our case that would be Restaurant Paradoxon in Salzburg, or Mochi if we’re in Vienna.
I think the possibilities of activities and ideas for giving quality time for Christmas are endless. As I mentioned before, no one knows your loved ones better than you do – so I am sure you will come up with the perfect idea for them.
“Your presence is present enough.”
But Christmas would not be Christmas without an actual wishlist, right? One of my fondest Christmas memories is writing a letter to the Christkind, putting it out on our window sill and excitedly waiting and checking until it was gone; I mean of course until it was picked up by the Christkind.
If I could, I would put health, snow and three more puppies on my wishlist this year… But that’s obviously impossible. The older I get, the more I realize money just can’t buy the things really worth wishing for. And I think especially Christmas is the time of the year to just reflect and be thankful for everything we have. However, of course there are some material things I’m admiring and dreaming of… Not that I expect any of these things under the Christmas tree – also considering the fact that I’m very late with submitting my wishlist – but even putting it together was a lot of fun and reminded me of the times when I cut out pictures of toys in magazines and glued them on my Christmas wishlist…
So here it goes – a selection of beautiful things worth admiring:
- ANNA I.J. earrings and necklace: Since I moved to Vienna in 2010, I’m a big fan of the pieces by Anna Inspiring Jewellery. The bracelets I got back then are on my wrist on a daily basis, and also the necklace and rings are basically worn every day. What’s missing in my collection is a pair of simple ear studs. Also, I love that there are bracelets, necklaces, earrings and bangles you can personalize with your own messages.
- TOM DIXON candle: Ever since I saw this candle for the first time, I totally fell in love with it. The copper, the marble lid, the smell = perfection. The only thing that’s not so perfect about it is the price tag it comes with… but hey, it’s Christmas after all, right?
- CÉLINE sunglasses: I’ve been looking for new sunglasses for a while now, but could not decide whether to get black or brown ones. This version by Céline would be the perfect combination.
- MANGO cashmere beanie: One essential wardrobe staple in winter definitely is a beanie. No matter if worn because it’s cold outside, or just because due to a bad hair day – a beanie can be a life saver! This cute peach colored version would be a perfect add on to my collection.
- ANINE BING lace bra: What to say about this black lace perfection except for: Yes, please!
- CHANEL brooch: One of the things that’s probably been on my wishlist the longest is a classic Chanel brooch. I’ve been searching for a rather plain version the past couple of years, but without any luck. Unfortunately, the brooches are sold out rather quickly at the Chanel boutiques. This studded version would perfect…
- MOONBOOTS shoes: I’d love to take these babes to our upcoming skiing trip in January and be prepared for lots of fun in the snow (hopefully!).
- SAINT LAURENT black bag: Last but not least – a black bag. I actually wanted to treat myself to a black bag in September already, but then the model I wanted was sold out everywhere. My recent purchase, the Chloé Drew bag, was meant to be black but turned out grey. So the hunt for the perfect black bag is still going strong… I have my eyes on several YSL and Valentino models at the moment, and will hopefully be able to make a decision soon.