The holidays are a time for gratitude, celebrations, family, friends, and, of course, gifts. Bombarded with advertising trying to convince you that you need the latest and greatest, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters and overlook the art of thoughtful gift giving.

What better opportunity to practice this than during the holidays? Just as you approach your yoga class or meditation practice with centered awareness, you can approach gift giving with an increased presence and attention on the activity itself.

bear-giftHow to Give an Amazing Gift

Mindful giving involves paying attention to:      

  • What is meaningful for the recipient
  • Exploring your whys behind giving the gift
  • Reconsidering your preconceived or habitual ways of giving

As you slow down and consider the process of gift giving, you can swap the stress and anxiety of purchasing the perfect present for the true pleasure of generosity.

Treat Yourself

During the holiday season there are many demands on your energy and time. When you are giving to everyone except yourself, your gifts may spread care to others, but fail to nurture your needs.

The best gift you can give your loved ones is the gift of your healthiest and most nurtured self.

Plan Far, Far Ahead

In order to slow down and practice mindful gift giving, you need to take time to think through your choices. You don’t have to wait until the holiday frenzy begins. Start early!

Planning well ahead of the holiday season allows you the time and energy to brainstorm ways to make your gifts meaningful. It also reduces the stress of last-minute shopping or reaching for a quick, but superficial choice.

Share from the Heart

A heartfelt note can be a gift in itself. Offer forgiveness, gratitude, or love to remind someone you care about them and that they are cherished. Letters that come from the heart show a mindful connection.

Similarly, gratitude or memory jars can be thoughtful gifts. Here’s how to put one together:

  1. Contact friends and family members of the recipient and have them submit special memories, a favorite photo, or something they appreciate about the person.
  2. Place these all in a jar, decorated box, or special journal.
  3. Give the jar to the recipient and encourage him to choose one memory each day during the upcoming year so he can see what other people cherish about him.

 

Make your Gift Personal

When planning a gift, think about who the recipient is and what she values. Recall what he is passionate about or what makes him laugh.

Use this to inspire heartfelt, personalized, and thoughtful gifts. If your aunt hates to run to the grocery store, consider a healthy meal delivery service, membership in a CSA for organic produce, or providing regular grocery runs for her. If your brother is passionate about nature, perhaps he would value a tree planted in his name or a donation in his honor to a relevant conservation organization.

 

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