Dr. Linda Hancock


Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years. Over the years, her readers and clients have said that they have benefited from her common-sense solutions, wisdom, and sense of humour. Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email


December 17 2021

All Psyched Up. | | Gifts | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published December 17 2021 | Revised July 3 2022

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.

Is there a particular gift that you have secretly been wanting

This year, more than ever, I have been hearing people talk about how difficult it is to buy gifts for loved ones.   Some say that they don’t know what the other person might want or need.  The size, colour or style is usually a matter of personal preference and often we don’t know these details.  Also, we might not know what the person already has or will be receiving from others.

Over the years I have given gifts that were met with comments such as “I just bought myself one of these” or “That’s funny because we received two of these as gifts this Christmas

So, I have changed my methods!   Now I only purchase gifts for those who are under the age of eighteen years and have figured out how to do that with success

For example, I recently called my grandson who can remotely log into my computer and together we searched for the best yo-yo that was on the wish list of my great-granddaughter.  We also chose a book that showed how to do yo-yo tricks.  I entered my credit card and we agreed to have the items shipped to him for wrapping and placing under the tree.   Done!

Then I sent a text to my son who has five-year-old and sixteen-year-old daughters.  Within minutes we had settled on items that they would enjoy which I could order online.  Done!

I always order trays of nuts and candies for my contracted workers.  Baking is done for those who will be with me over the holidays.  I really try to personalize this by using the favorite flavors and recipes of those who will receive them.

So, what else do I give to others?   I know that my annual Christmas letter is a gift to many.  One senior actually called me this week stating that she always looks forward to it and often reads it more than once

The most important gifts that I give, however, seem to be the hope and strategies offered to clients, many of whom have been dreading the Christmas season.  Some have bad memories of the past.  Others will be all alone, and others are so overwhelmed with the expectations that they have been put on them by others and themselves.

And so, what are the most valuable gifts that I can give you for the upcoming days?   First of all, I give you the realization that you can choose contentment and peace in the middle of chaos.   You can find reasons to give thanks even when things aren’t perfect.   You can use kindness and consideration to build relationships and memories even when other people are not willing to do the same.   You can share a smile and a greeting even with strangers who you casually encounter.

Oh, and you can buy yourself that particular gift that you have secretly been wishing for, so you won’t be disappointed!

Have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!

All Psyched Up. | The Sixteenth Year | Gifts | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published December 17 2021 | Revised July 3 2022

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.