It is December! Where does the time go? Are you just realizing there are only two weeks until Christmas? The sheer pressure on our time, our wallets, and our waistlines often complicate the holidays. Instead of going down the same stressful rabbit hole of last-minute shopping, mad-dash gift-giving mania, and increasing debt balances, I suggest a more sustainable gift giving path.
Are you ready to find out how to start a new holiday tradition for sustainable gift giving?
Check out that path below.
Recapture the Magic
It is essential to slow down and remember the reason for the season.
We can get caught up in the hype and manic energy of the season, however it’s just the opposite of what the true meaning of the season is about.
Take this moment, close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Do it. Now remember your favorite holiday experience as a kid. Let yourself go into the details. Your cat Smokey climbing up the Christmas tree, that delicious warm donut on Christmas morning, or the glorious sense of peace at midnight mass. You’ve got it. Just allow yourself to focus on your feeling of pure magic.
Hold on to that now.
Start from that place, – full of the magic of the season – your gift-giving should come from.
Don’t dwell on the money. It’s not about obligation. It’s about appreciation for what you have received and a symbol of that gratitude.
It’s the Thought that Counts
Try to remember why you give gifts and make sure that this is part of the process, no matter how limited your budget and/or time is. It’s the thought that counts more than anything.
It’s a sign of appreciation, and a connection for those we care about, respect and love. The true essence of giving is in the giving without expectation. If you are giving something with the expectation of reciprocity, then you are confusing an exchange for gift-giving. This is okay, and has its place in our lives and world, though get clear on which one is your position for each person.
Don’t go down the rabbit-hole of a sense of lack or money being the center of the holiday season. It’s possible to be sustainably creative this season, not over-spend money and still give gifts from the heart that provide a much deeper joy.
In our hectic world where we are strapped for time, and often 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 experience itself, see below for a few suggestions on sustainable gift-giving criteria to help make the process more joyful.
What Does Sustainable Gift Giving Mean?
Sustainable gift-giving means focusing on gifts that will last the test of time. Refuse to go the fast-fashion, fast-furniture, fast-gift-giving this season. Opt instead for the gifts that will keep on giving long after your wrapping is recycled for next year!
Locally sourced, home-made, repurposed, or ecologically sourced gifts are the best gifts to show your true love for yourself, the planet and, of course, your gift receiver!
Sustainable gift-giving also includes the fact that you can’t go into debt or create an unsustainable situation for yourself for the act of gift-giving. There is no sense in causing pain for one to create pleasure for another. In nature, everything is in balance; we can apply this lesson here.
Sustainable Gift Giving Categories
Useful or Functional
What does your (insert the person you want to give a gift to) need to have done, however they don’t have the time, energy or money to do it?
Great gift ideas include to get their car a full-service valet cleaning, help them empty their storage space, or offer to organise their attic. The gift of service is underrated.
Health is True Wealth
A gift that truly keeps on giving afterwards is the one that promotes a healthier lifestyle. A gym membership, a yoga class, or a meditation group membership.
You don’t have that kind of cash? You can opt for a reusable water bottle, or an e-guide to healthy meals. How about a walk in nature with a picnic to share? Your health is your true wealth.
Your home is your castle, though it often can become your dungeon. Give your loved ones some help to get their home environment into the best shape so it can provide the comfort and safety they deserve.
Help to paint their bedroom the perfect color to make them sleep better. Or get them a Feng Shui consultation to help kick-start the New Year off right.
Don’t have that in your budget? Then you can give a weekend of handy person services where you fix their leaky faucet, hang their curtains, or help them rearrange their living room. A happy home creates happy people.
TIME is the most valuable thing we have. A life experience is much more valuable than almost anything you can give those you love. A trip to a museum, an art gallery, or the theatre can be the special adventure of the year. The Arts expand the mind like nothing else.
No Footprint Gifts
Avoiding delivery costs or excessive packaging is a gift on many levels. To your beloved, plus the planet. Adopting a gift-giving policy of purchasing online courses, music, ebooks or videos helps shift the burden on the planet. This is a way to embrace our new technology-focused world in a positive way.
Books are Sustainable
Books are a sustainable gift, even if they use trees for the paper and need to be printed and shipped. This is because of the gift of joy, knowledge, and slowing down. Plus, the added benefit of disconnecting from tech for a while will have its long-term health benefits for those you love.
Sustainable Gift Giving Ideas
Here are some inspirational ideas for sustainable gift-giving, that may cover a few of the above categories of home help, function and slowing down.
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill
Start a New Holiday Tradition
Sustainable gift giving is a gift for you, the planet, and everyone you love. Something can be ecologically sourced, but it’s still stuff.
Give gifts that will last the test of time; gifts that continue to give after their initial impact.
Refuse to go the fast-fashion, fast-furniture, fast-gift giving this season. Opt instead for the gifts that will keep on giving long after your wrapping is recycled for next year!
Locally bought, home made, repurposed or ecologically sourced gifts are the best gifts that demonstrate your true love. Better yet is an act of service or a shared adventure.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Change your habits for the better. Create a new tradition in your family that truly embraces the whole world.
May your season be bright, merry and sustainably gratifying.
Ho Ho Ho!
If you have any ideas on sustainable gift-giving that you’d like to share with us, please CONNECT HERE.