On the seventh day of Christmas, my paycheck gave to me…

Catherine said it so, so right on her holiday bucket list, we should all add our own names to that list of gift-getters this year. Who’s to say you don’t deserve special treatment from the only person who knows your deepest, darkest fixations? (That’s you, if you’re lost.) So, I suppose this can be considered an expansion on Catherine’s list, even though she managed to fit in the most adorable, applicable items on hers…the ones you’ll find here are, plainly and simply, for Y-O-U.

1. A letter to your future self
Ok so this one doesn’t require a paycheck, but simply some time for reflection, and maybe a bit of proof reading…you want to impress your future self, don’t you? This gift is easier than you think. I recently discovered a great website, futureme.org, that allows its users to email themselves letters, stories, reminders, etc., whether its 20 years down the road or a week away.
On New Years Eve in the year 2000, I compiled a millennium time machine with some friends and we opened it ten years later to find nostalgic memories of youth, friendship, love…and saldly, a whole lot of mold. Thankfully, Y2K did not blow up our computers, and futureme.org is one of a million websites that has developed since, giving us the opportunity to think about ourselves decades from now…with no rotting involved whatsoever. What would you say to your future self?
P.S. You can also send your family and friends future letters if you’re into that.

2. Magazine Subscription

This one is a little less life-altering and a little more fun the whole year through. I used to think giving up my magazine store ventures was too difficult, but once I began receiving magazines in the mail (everyone loves receiving non-bill related mail items), I was hooked. Quite often, subscriber magazines are given different covers than those on the shelves, hello added bonus. And if the magazine you’ve chosen has their s*** together, you’ll likely receive it before the store does. This is a definitely a gift that keeps on giving… until your subscription runs out.
These are just a few of my favourite magazines:

From left: Numéro, Elle US, Vogue Paris, FLARE, Harper's Bazaar US

3. Language/Cooking/Photography/Tech/Piano Lessons

While in Europe, I realized I could pick up on languages fairly easily, and it made me think very seriously about pursuing the option of language classes upon my return. Well like so many of those types of aspirations, I have yet to follow up.
Forcing yourself to learn something you’ve always wanted to do, like making homemade pasta or starting your own blog, is often the most rewarding experience you can give yourself…and it also makes the perfect Christmas gift from your obliging paycheck.

Proof that the English language hasn't got it all....

4. Fresh flowers

This one is so simple, but oh-so sweet. I do this for myself every few months and it truly never gets old. Having the fresh smell of your favorite flowers on your bed-side table or in your dining room is a great feeling, even if it’s not from last night’s date.

5. A personalized recipe book

Whenever I’ve moved away from home, the first thing I miss is my mom’s cooking. Sometimes the simplest dish just cannot be replicated with any old recipe. Take the time to email your family members and friends for the recipes you’ve always admired and prepare a book for yourself. It’ll give you the chance to learn a few things and your roommate will definitely appreciate all those yummy leftovers (and hey, those cooking classes will come in handy). PS – This also makes a really sweet gift.

6. New Makeup

This one sounds extremely superficial, but think about it. There’s no one else that can pick the correct tint, brand or variety… and you wear this stuff everyday. We’ve all read the incredibly scary facts about how quickly makeup develops bacteria and should be discarded (mascara people, buy a new one), which is all the more reason to get out there and invest. You’ll feel great about your renewed beauty routine afterwards…and don’t forget to clean those brushes!

These are just a few things I think apply to so many women out there, pounding the pavement everyday to find the perfect gift for mom, dad and the dog…forgetting all the while that there’s someone else who deserves special treatment. As always, I can’t say I know you perfectly, so take the time to write down exactly what you’d like. Whether it’s finally starting a daily journal, buying the bike you’ve been eyeing since June (bad timing, girl) or finally learning how to knit…it’s time to take action, because, in a nutshell, YOU deserve it!

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