Case Study for November 2008
Sending gifts by post
Julie is an adventurous woman. When she was young, she spent more time looking out the class room window than
playing attention to her school work. She would dream of epic journeys through mountains, villages and distant seas.
She wanted to meet the people on the other side of the world. She imagined the strange rituals they performed,
the exotic clothes they would wear and the games they might play. When she was older she was rarely home. There wasn't
a continent in the world she hadn't set foot on, nor an ocean she hadn't swum in.
After years of traveling the world, she returned to her own village to settle down. Not because she had exhausted her list
of places to visit, but because of the handsome man in the next valley she would later marry. They had two children
who shared her adventurous spirit. They would wander off for hours through the fields, playing games and pretending to
explore forgotten lands.
When they grew up, they moved to different countries. Her son moved to a farm in South Africa and her daughter to a large
city in Japan. Julie admired their courage to move their lives overseas, however Christmas wasn't the same without them.
They had become a modern family that lived in the global village, where you didn't live in different area codes, you lived
in different country codes.
Julie wanted to send her children something special this Christmas. She got her whole family to make their wish lists at
Today I Wish and used the "add a friend" feature to make their wish lists even easier to find. Her children had very long
wish lists, especially with inspiration from the gift ideas provided by Today I Wish. Julie
thought she knew
her children well, but she learned a lot more about them when they started to express the things they valued
through their wish list. She was touched when her daughter listed "Mum's Christmas Cake" under things that money can't buy.
Her son listed mainly video games and DVDs, which were not easy to come by when you live over 100 miles away from
the closest city.
Julie wanted to give Christmas presents her children really wanted. Living in a small village in a different country made
this difficult for her. Firstly, she couldn't make a Christmas cake and send it to her daughter. Posting something that
heavy wouldn't be worth the cost and even if it did get to Japan, it may not make it through customs because it contained
fruit. Further, she couldn't post the games and DVDs her son wanted because she too had no major shopping malls near her.
So Julie turned to the Genie to help.
The Genie was inspired by her daughter's request. Julie's daughter would have her own family one day and couldn't rely on her mother
to bake her a cake each year. So the Genie asked Julie to fill a box with baking tools to send to her daughter. Julie wrote out
instructions on how to make her Christmas Cake, put it in a sealed envelope and wrote "top secret" on the front. As for her
son, Today I Wish helped her solve the problem. Julie used the "Buy Now" feature next to the presents she wanted to find
online. Amazon (an online shopping site) had them all in stock so she had them sent in no time. Many online stores allow you to send your gifts directly
to the lucky receiver.
Julie's daughter was over the moon to receive such a large package in the post. She felt such a sense of belonging when
she learned the recipe to the Christmas cake that had been passed down through the women of her family. She felt a part of
her family that Christmas, despite being on the other side of the world. Her son had a less emotional response (which was
to be expected), unless you count the thrill he got from blowing up aliens in his video games. Julie realized that, with the
help of the internet, family and gift giving are not bound by distance as much as they used to. It is difficult being away
from each other at Christmas, so Genie asks that this year, and every year, we make an effort to make it special.
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