3 Tips for Mindful and Joyful Gifting
The holidays are a time of year when we often express our feelings for our loved ones, by preparing to give them gifts. Giving gifts, and the holidays in general, can activate old beliefs that may no longer serve us. We may be unconsciously be giving away our personal power to these old beliefs and patterns without realizing it. This may manifest itself in how we acquire gifts for others, and in over-spending.
Advertisers are very good at exploiting our vulnerabilities! Commercials play on our sense of nostalgia, and our desire for how we may wish our lives were, instead of how they are. When we are buying gifts, this often prompts us to purchase things that don’t serve either the giftee or ourselves.
Here are three tips for helping you stay conscious in your gift giving, and bring you closer to those you love.
1) Focus on the joy of gift-giving.
Before you get freaked out about buying the “perfect” gift for someone, take a few moments by yourself, to get still and centred. Think about the person you want to buy for, and immerse yourself for a minute, in the essence of who they are. What kind of person are they? What values are important to them? What brings them the most joy? Even if you don’t know them really well, your relationship with them will give you some clues.
Do you talk with your busdriver about your shared love of cross-word puzzles? There’s an obvious clue about what to get her.
Is there a time that you’ve shared in the past with your aunt, that brought you closer? If you can replicate that, you will be giving her the gift of shared time and love.
Does your wealthy great-uncle have everything money can buy? Maybe donating money to his preferred charity will give him that warm, tingly holiday glow.
2) Remember That The Best Things In Life are Free
Recognize that just because a phone commercial shows that “all perfect families laugh and play together on the holidays”, that may not be your reality. Maybe you don’t have money to spend on gifts this year. Maybe you feel alone and afraid. But take a look around at the great things you DO have in your life. Treasure each friend and family member you do have, even if there are only a few. Celebrate your healthy body, your neighborhood, your dog, your job, your kids. Treasure all you have been given. If you are having trouble with this, think about how little many, many others have compared to you. Think about the country you live in, and that wonderful things you have in your life, just by virtue of being born there.
One of the best Christmases I ever had was one where my dad and I ended up eating Christmas dinner at a truck stop. My life was shattered after a bad relationship break-up, and so was his. We both only had each other that year, and due to our general dysfunctionality and poor planning, the only restaurant we could find that was open on Christmas was a truck stop. We felt very sorry for ourselves, that we were having such an uncharacteristically bad Christmas.
However, after listening to those people around us, we realized that even though this was one bad day in our lives, we had so much to be grateful for the other 364 days of the year. Our worst day of the year at the truckstop, was the best day of the year for some of the people there. Eating there was a big celebration for them. We left the truckstop feeling humbled, and so very grateful for all the many blessings in our lives.
You do have more than many others. If you can donate your time, or money to local (and non-local) charities, can make a huge difference in the lives of others who are less fortunate. When you give these things, you are also acknowledging how much you have.
3) Ask your guides to help you when you are shopping.
You can ask them to give you a super “zing” if you see the perfect gift for someone. Pay attention to those things just “falling into your lap” after you’ve been thinking about someone. Maybe it’s a charity catalogue that appears in your mailbox, an impulse to go to a store that you normally don’t, or a local event that you know they would enjoy.
You can ask your guides to help you not over-accumulate. Many times while Christmas shopping, I pick up some gifts for myself. Sometimes this is good when I see something I have been looking for, but sometimes it is just over-consuming. Especially if I am over-tired and worn out. You can ask your guides to help remind you not to over-consume by asking them to signal you with a visual guide (perhaps a stop sign?) when you truly don’t need something. This doesn’t mean that you can never, ever have any fun making an impulse buy. But it does help in cutting down in over consuming, which can leave you feeling emotionally emptier.
*Extra Reminder: Remember to practice self-care
Make sure the time you spend shopping or looking for gifts, is in manageable chunks. Take a break every few hours. If you are tired or hungry, you are not going to make good purchasing choices. Don’t forget you can also shop on-line for most things these days.
Staying mindful during the holidays can be challenging, but by focusing on the joy of the season, being grateful for what you have, and even asking your guides for a little help, you can keep it happy for yourself. And remember to take care of yourself.
Enjoy gift giving! Celebrate love and togetherness!
Conduit of Joy Christmas offerings
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*Gift certificates are available.