It is December! Where does the time go?  I feel I was so on top of things and my yearly plan was all going swimmingly until about October. Then BAM – time sped up and here we are only 2 weeks away from Christmas and I am just waking up to the fact that it is the holiday season!
I always want to focus on my pure enjoyment of the SPIRIT & MAGIC of the holiday season and to start dreaming of the gifts I am going to create and give my loved ones. Now I need to start ACTING on it and get to it! Do you too?
Though we often associate gift-giving with the three wise men who brought gifts to baby Jesus, the act of gift-giving is a much older and sacred activity humans have used to demonstrate their love and affection, gratitude and appreciation to others. The act of gift-giving also promotes a sense of well-being, social connection and greater happiness to both the giver as well as the receiver. A real win-win!
In our hectic world where we are often strapped for time, and sometimes for money, has your gift giving become a stressful activity?   In order to make sure that the loving act of gift-giving stays true to its origins, and you benefit from the main gifts it can bestow upon us all, I have a few useful suggestions on my own personal gift-giving criteria to help make the process more JOYFUL.
Firstly, I think it is key to remember WHY we give gifts and to make sure that this is part of the process, no matter how limited your budget and or time is.  It is the THOUGHT that counts more than anything.
Historically, as a designer and a creative, I have had a habit of giving gifts that I also LOVE.  If I don’t like it, I find it very difficult to get it for someone else, even if they love it.  So I need to find a common ground, a similarity, no matter how small, in order to CONNECT us. This also unites us with the person we are giving the gift to and reminds us of why it is important to give them something special to show our affection.

It’s the thought that counts. ~ Proverb

Additionally, it is essential to make sure your intentions for your gifts are from the heart without EXPECTATION of anything in return.  If you are giving something with the expectation of reciprocity, then you are confusing an exchange for gift-giving. This is okay, and has it’s place in our lives and world, though I suggest being clear on which one it is before you begin.

gramercy park 010

You are only as beautiful as the many beautiful things you do for others without expectation. 
~Janelle Monae

Additionally, I have also given gifts that will LAST the test of time. SUSTAINABLE gifts. This specifically means to me, to give gifts that continue to give after their initial impact. This can be from the obvious factor of a locally sourced item, to something with eco-packaging, to a gift that continue to provide something useful as time goes on such as a self- help or cook book, a reusable water bottle, a special tool, or a health membership or even a donation to a charity that matters to them. Possibly even helping someone you know get one step closer to their dream HOME with a renovation or remodel by giving them a book to help inspire them? Define what SUSTAINABILITY means to you and go from there.

shutterstock_61051801_Child holding Earth on green meadow_copyright olly copy

As a Holistic Designer, this has increasingly become essential to my approach to my life and my designs for all of my clients. I make sure our choices are wise for both now, as well as into the future. My legacy has evolved to create gifts that continue to give assistance to those that seek it in the areas of my expertise: HOLISTIC and SUSTAINABLE DESIGN. Check out my new online store that I launched this year to share with you some affordable gifts that keep on giving. http://www.sleewright.com/shop/
Lastly, EXPERIENCES are great gifts. I think the idea of giving someone an adventure, (especially a shared one!) is an especially wonderful gift to give to someone you love.  Ultimately, our TIME is the most valuable thing we have. Sharing our time, or giving someone the opportunity to do something spectacular with their own time, is a precious gift indeed.  A vacation, a special meal, a cooking class, or even a Voucher to have a Feng Shui Design Consultation.These are all gifts that will improve the giver as well as the receiver with the experience itself.


So what are your gift-giving criteria: Beauty, sustainability or experiential?

Here are some inspirational ideas from my casa to yours this holiday season.
 Ideas for that person that loves there home, their space and wants to make positive changes in the next year:
Space Clearing Video:

sage- a space clearing ritual shared

Feng Shui Design Video:
The colors of your space effect your moods and emotions

The colors of your space effect your moods and emotions

Online Course- Home Renovations with Feng Shui:
Book- Feng Shui Tips – Home Renovations:
Click here to buy
Book- Feng Shui Tips – Kitchen Renovations:
Click here to buy




We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill

Looking forward to helping you make the most of the Monkey Year.

Looking forward to helping you make the most of the Monkey Year.