The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas

As lockdown in England ends, we hit December. For many of us, December is a month of manic buying, people pleasing and racing around. And this year we have our ‘Christmas bubbles’ to consider too. There might be less racing around in person, but that doesn’t mean the stress levels drop.

So today we’re looking at how you can consider your own needs. Before the mayhem kicks in. What’s the best gift you can give yourself this Christmas?

You are a person too

For so many women Christmas is a time we meet the needs of others. It’s about creating magic for the children. Doing the shopping – for your spouse’s family as well as your own (yes – many of my clients still buy presents for their ex’s family!). Keeping up with traditions that have long since lost their sparkle.

Is that you? Are you the person running around trying to keep everyone happy? Doing all the Christmas cards, planning ‘winter wonderland’ trips, organising presents for teachers and scouring the internet to get that Lego set at the best price? As well as figuring out how to mastermind the big day itself so everyone gets the food they want?

If so, I have five words for you.

You are a person too.

You have a right to Christmas too – whatever that means to you. Religious or not, I don’t reckon there’s a single soul out there who wants to be chasing their tail, overspending in December.

So what do you want for yourself this Christmas season? And I mean, from right now – not just under the tree on 25 December?

Say no

The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas is the gift of saying ‘no’.

‘No’ is a powerful word. One that we’re so conditioned not to use, it might feel uncomfortable. But this Christmas I’m asking you to give it a go.

“No, I’m not making the lunch this year.”


“No, we are not getting a new Xbox.”

“No, I am not going to Oxford to see Auntie Sue.”

Life is short. And there are only so many things we can give our time, money and attention to. We can feel pelted by all the demands upon us – from others, and the expectations we place on ourselves.

“No” lets us wipe the slate clean. When we say no it means we can say “Yes” to something else. Something we really want or need.

So, let’s pretend you say “No” to absolutely everything this year. Take it all off the list.

You get a blank piece of paper. How exciting is that?! Now, what are you going to put on your blank sheet?

What has your “No” created space for? Give your attention to that instead.

If you could wave a magic wand…

The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas is believing that your needs deserve to be met. 

We get children to write Christmas lists and send them to Santa. Not many adults do it for ourselves though, do we? That’s because, by the time we get to adulthood, usually the things we want aren’t really things. We don’t need the latest games console or must-have toy to feel good.

Yes, presents can be nice, if they’re thoughtful. If they show love. But what we really want, once we’re grown up, is more foundational than that. We want things like:

  • Peace of mind
  • Adventure
  • Security
  • Fulfilment
  • Fun

And we know those things aren’t wrapped up in boxes. They’re woven into how we spend our lives, and who spend them with. We find them when we realise that we’ve been living a pale half-life, stuck in a marriage that’s no longer happy or healthy. And we see them when we start taking charge of our own lives again.

We know we can glimpse adventure, for example, on a walk to the shops, because we’ve started living on purpose again. And we know we’re building security when we face up to our financial paperwork. We create bubbles of fun when we remind ourselves we are people too. And choose to spend some of our time doing things that make us giggle – just because.

If you could wave a magic wand this Christmas, what would you ask for? And where can you start asking for or creating that? (Assuming the big man doesn’t leave it wrapped up in a box under the tree for you – and you never know…).


The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas

Is to begin to put you first. Be the captain of your ship – the CEO of your divorce. It takes practice when you are a ‘giver’ rather than a ‘receiver’. But like anything, if you don’t practice, it’ll take longer to get good at it. As one of my coaches said to me – “It doesn’t get easier, it just gets later”.

The Absolute Academy

Taking a moment to check your own needs is the very best gift you can give yourself right now. Honestly. Say no to all the obligations, start with a blank sheet and create a new page.

The second best gift, if you’re embarking on, or in the midst of, divorce? Join The Absolute Academy.

The Absolute Academy is my community of women on a mission to get their divorce done. And I’m with them, every step of the way. I’m in there every week with live Q&As, zoom chats and responding to questions.

Chances are when I asked you what you’d wish for, you said you want your divorce over with. You want this whole emotional rollercoaster, legal pain in the neck nightmare behind you. You want to close the chapter on your marriage so you can start a fresh chapter on your own terms.

Sadly there’s no divorce fairy to grant that wish. And, in fairness, The Absolute Academy won’t instantly solve all your problems either.

Giving you answers

But it will give you answers. It will take away overwhelm. It will mean you’re with a bunch of women who have your back. You’ll have help deciding what’s right for you, and how to navigate the legalities.

It will also save you a whole heap of money. It costs £147 per month at the moment. Do you know how much a solicitor’s hourly rate is? You can take a look for yourself at the government’s guideline figures here (and bear in mind they’re from 2010 – ten years ago). Those are hourly rates, not monthly ones, remember.

I know you will end up paying a solicitor a lot less if you work with me. Many of my clients have saved thousands. Here’s what Sofia, a current member says:

“I used to spend thousands of pounds on my solicitor (up to £7K a month) and I’d still feel totally out of control. I knew that asking questions would cost me even more money so would be very careful about what to ask. Now I do everything myself with Emma’s support and spend £147 a month. That’s it. Yes, it is more work for me, I prepare everything myself as I no longer have a solicitor but I feel in control, and get emotional and practical advice every week.”

The Absolute Academy monthly fee is going up in January. That’s because it’s worth a whole lot more than £147.

As well as the group and all of my live input, you get access to a whole library of training and resources. This includes ‘Get Divorce Ready’, my step by step, in-depth guide to getting yourself into a place practically and emotionally to make divorce as smooth as possible. And you also get discounts on my other paid-for services.

So if you want to take charge of your divorce, and get that ‘in control’ feeling Sofia talks about, I’m inviting you to join us now.

Join The Absolute Academy now

It’s so simple to join. Take a look at the information here, and click the ‘join the club’ button.

I want you to feel absolutely confident it’s right for you, so if you have any questions, I’m happy to help. Just book a free chat in with me here and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

About Emma

Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is author of the Amazon best selling book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, the Ultimate Guide to Getting Divorce Ready. A former lawyer, Emma is a family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self-study and group programmes. Emma has been featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. To find out more visit

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