Christmas is just around the corner - and with it an opportunity to give presents to loved ones. Ensemble members Daniella Venter, Jakob Feyferlik, Zachary Rogers, Dani Gibson, Ariel Merkuri and Melissa Chapski share their tips for the perfect gift.


Balm for the soul

Corps de ballet dancer Melissa Chapski is planning one gift idea in particular this year: „I plan to give some presents that will help loved ones take care of their bodies!“ For example she has been looking into different types of bath salts, homeopathic creams or aromatherapy care. „I think taking care of one's body is so important, and these are typically gifts that people don't usually splurge on for themselves. So I think it's a wonderful gift-giving idea!“

If time is running and there is no time left to get a lavish present, soloist Ariel Merkuri has the following tip that also fits in this category of presents: „I would recommend to buy a perfume.“

Wandering into the distance

By the way, it doesn't always have to be something material. Time together is also a popular Christmas gift, be it a wellness weekend in Austria or a short holiday: Melissa Chapski particularly appreciates gifts like this. "I don't need much in life to be happy. I really like to fulfill my spare time with traveling and seeing new things." For example, she likes to give the gift of shared activities. She has already surprised her partner with a jet ski trip on holiday together in Ibiza. Although such holidays and trips are a rather expensive gift, they are a nice surprise for loved ones.

A special voucher

The gift voucher is undoubtedly a classic gift - and with a shopping trip together, you are also giving the gift of time together. Corps de ballet dancer Daniella Venter has often received this gift from her father. She wasn't just happy that she could choose anything she wanted: "It was such special quality time spent with my dad, times which I’ll always treasure more than the clothes that I’ve long outgrown"

Tick off the shopping list                                                                       

A bar of soap or a bubble bath? Things that used to disappoint rather than delight her as a child are now gifts that Daniella Venter enjoys unwrapping. "At least it's one thing to tick off the list of things to buy at dm," she says with a laugh. In general, it's never wrong to give something as a gift that you can really use or that the person receiving the gift has been fond of for a long time.

An opinion that Zachary Rogers shares: "When I'm buying a gift for someone, I try to give something not only that they would like, but that they could also find useful." For example, if the person receiving the gift has just moved house - and dancers are always forced to do this when they change ensembles - you can orientate yourself on this fact and look for a suitable gift for the new home, be it something useful or something decorative like a coffee-table book.

Vacuum cleaner vs. Christmas cards                                                      

Often dismissed as an appendage, a Christmas card may seem unimaginative at first glance. And yet it can also be a particularly nice gift. I love receiving thought out and meaningful words from loved ones over the years, and even keeping them to look back on," reveals Daniella Venter. She also appreciates the fact that Christmas cards are compact gifts. "They are much easier gifts to take back from my home in South Africa than the vacuum cleaner I had in my suitcase last year",  she adds with a laugh.

The main thing is personal                               

As varied as gift ideas can be, not every gift is suitable for every recipient. This starts with the question of whether to give something material or immaterial. Principal Jakob Feyferlik thinks that immaterial gifts are a good idea for special people in particular. Nevertheless, material gifts can be "super practical", especially when you need them.

Whether it's time together as a gift or "just" an object, group dancer Dani Gibson believes it's important that Christmas presents are personal and come from the heart. She likes to draw inspiration from shared memories or conversations. She particularly likes to give framed photos: "It's simple and meaningful, especially as my family lives in Australia." Incidentally, one gift that Dani Gibson remembers particularly fondly is a keyboard that she received from her parents when she was four years old. "I desperately wanted to play piano. To this day it is my earliest memory of my love for classical music."

When to get presents?

When is the best time to start organising Christmas presents? People often forget the time and suddenly find themselves without presents on 24 December. This is also the case for some members of the ensemble. Jakob Feyferlik, Zachary Rogers and Ariel Merkuri are all self-confessed last-minute shoppers. However, Ariel Merkuri thinks long in advance about what he might give away. Zachary Rogers also tries to avoid buying presents on Christmas Day: "It stresses me out. That's why I try to shop at least a week in advance so I can think through my gifts thoroughly enough and find them in stores before they're out of stock!"

Melissa Chapski is better prepared: she plans and buys her gifts in advance - sometimes as early as October - and likes to take advantage of Black Friday. This not only means she finds good Black Friday deals, but also has a much more relaxed Christmas period. „You can also make sure the items arrive on time if you're ordering them online, and it's less stressful around the holidays! I also do university part time, and my finals exams and projects usually take place within the two to three weeks before Christmas. So that’s why I like to plan in advance.“

Tickets that will change your life

If all else fails and you still don't have a suitable Christmas present, principal Jakob Feyferlik has the following tip: "Just go to the website of the Bayerische Staatsoper and get tickets for a ballet!" Corps de ballet member Zachary Rogers has had a very positive experience with exactly this gift idea. At the age of ten, he was given tickets to the ballet The Nutcracker by his parents. Looking back, this experience at the Alberta Ballet was the best present the dancer ever received. "It was my first time seeing the ballet live, and it left a huge impression on me. After the performance, I was even more determined to make my dream of becoming a ballet dancer a reality dancer."

You need some more inspiration for your Christmas gifts?

Author: Annabell Frankenfeld

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