5 Steps for Mindful Gift Giving

Its that time of the year again. With the holidays on the horizon, and gift shopping on our minds, will you be one of the millions heading to the malls in search of the best deal or perfect item? Whether it’s worrying about stretching a budget, or the price tags on a loved one’s wish list, or the endless comparing of presents, this can be a dizzying and stressful time of the year. Before your email inboxes fill up with bright FLASHING SALES, 90 PERCENT OFF, flickering images, we have prepared a list of 5 ways you can stay grounded and shop mindfully this holiday season.

1. Setting and Communicating Boundaries
From in-laws, extended family, colleagues to friends, it can feel intimidating and impossible to shop for everyone all at once. Schedule a time for you to check-in with yourself about your budget for holiday shopping, a list of items you can purchase within your budget for loved ones you will be gifting, and possible ways to communicate anxieties, concerns and boundaries about holiday shopping. Sometimes what is on everyone’s mind is: “Can we please keep presents under $20 this year?”, or “Can we all try and gift DIY or homemade presents?”, or “Let’s arrange a secret Santa so there is less pressure to shop for everyone and we can focus on getting one meaningful gift.” Communicate with your family and loved ones what your boundaries, intentions and goals are in gift-giving and how you can re-define this tradition to be sustainable, meaningful and respectful of personal boundaries.

2. Re-Gift!
There is no shame in reusing and recycling lightly used clothing, gift cards, homeware etc. If its in good shape and you think it will make someone else happy, then reuse, re-wrap and re-gift. Think of all of the stuff you have in your home others have given you that you never use. You can even make it a gift-giving theme in your community—like a holiday gift-swap. Bring a gift, take a gift!

3. Mindfulness and Malls
Let’s say you do end up at the mall this weekend. No shame. Just have a game plan. Is there a particular deal for a product that makes the most sense to you? Make a mall route map. Head to these stores first and prioritize what is on your list. Alternatively, don’t have a list or any clue on what to get loved ones? Take cash and figure it out on the spot. Use the cash as a budget and do not dive into the credit or debit cards. This way you have a physical sense of the cashflow and can hold yourself accountable. If the anxiety-inducing frenzy of malls drives you to online shop, another possibility to keep it low key are experience-based gifts. Think a pair of movie tickets, an escape room ticket, a coupon booklet etc.

4. Quality over quantity.
Sometimes getting one quality, meaningful and sturdy gift for a loved one is better than a basket full of jams, 3 pairs of socks and a box of plastic trendy items they may never use. Instead of opting for buying more physical items to impress others out of anxiety, schedule time to really draw a sketch of what you know about this person and what you feel will be a great present. Wrap this one item beautifully and write a thoughtful card.

5. Homemade!
We all have that one sweet loved one who creates, designs and bakes their gifts. Each treat is custom-made. There is something incredibly heartwarming about a homemade gift. It reminds us that someone out in this universe spent their time and energy creating something as a way to care for us and our happiness. What can be better than this? One way to use Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to your advantage is to buy wholesale or bulk products if you want to make a lot of DIY and homemade items.

Wishing you a mindful holiday shopping season :heart: