Whenever this time of year comes around, I feel a mix of anxiety and excitement over the opportunity to give gifts to the ones I love. Like many, I get inspired all year long through social media posts, Black Friday sales, local finds while traveling, and just paying attention to what the people in my life say they want or need. But then comes the time to deliver on all of my hype and I often feel like I fall short due to timing, finances, or just getting worked up with my own wild expectations. In order to navigate this expectation, it’s important for me to consider what may be causing the anxious side of me in the first place. Here are a few questions I ask myself:
Will this gift be purposeful?
Will this gift be meaningful?
Will the intention of this gift be received?
How will this gift benefit beyond just a singular use?
Will this gift negatively impact the environment or eventually attribute to waste?
Once I navigate these thoughts, it helps me determine what is really causing any fear or block I have towards fulfilling an item on someone’s wish list. From this point, I take the opportunity to let my creativity flow here.
What would feel ethical for me to give and fulfilling for the recipient to receive?
Recently, I was texting with my sister-in-law and realized we were on the same page with something really important. She told me how this year she wanted to gift her sons experiences rather than material gifts and the reason why is because she wants to teach them what really matters in life. Because the truth is that I don’t really remember many of the gifts I got growing up, but rather the experience of opening them with my family. One of the most memorable holidays was when my dad had been laid off and we were trying to save money so instead of tons of gifts, my parents converted old home movies to DVDs for my sister and I (which if you’re looking to do – check out this site).
That’s when it hit me that if there is any experience I might be great at gifting, it would be gifting self-care.