If you are looking for more mindful ways of gift giving, conscious shopping ideas this year or if you are a minimalist at heart, you have come to the right place.
I already wrote about the benefits of making your life simpler in another article here it is: What is Slow Living and what you need to know about it? if you fancy a read.
This time, I will share tips on how to choose gifts for your loved ones without creating a burden with things they do not need or cluttering their space with something you aren’t sure they will love. It will be appreciated by the gift-receiver even if not consciously to receive something that truly bears a meaning and reflects your authentic bond.
Gift-giving is a tradition around Christmas and Birthdays, but it always created some anxiety to the gift-giver: Will he/she like the gift? Will he/she will love me more? what if they hate it and wants to exchange?
By focusing on some mindful gift-giving ideas, it can help reduce this anxiety even though of course gift-giving is a bit of an art and not a perfect science. Depending on who you are giving a gift to, one idea may be more relevant to others.
Remember you do not need to give “STUFF” to people to show you love them.
Something they can consume and throw away
This can be a special bottle of wine, spirit (drink responsibly), a candle, soap, chocolates or another delicatessen. Here you are being mindful of not creating permanent clutter for the gift-receiver because the gift will have a time-limit and most packaging can be recycled. Do mention while you give the gift that this is for consumption and NOT for collection.
A restaurant, concert ticket, a weekend stay in a country cottage, an afternoon tea. Make sure there is a clear date or a long duration on the purchased voucher/ticket.
Those are great gift ideas that people tend to remember for a long time.
Time – or Exchange a Skill
Spend time baking something together, or fixing a bike together, or exchanging some life-skills like how to fix a light fixture (wish someone would have gifted me that one!). Those things don’t have a price yet it means a lot. You can also give time by making a batch of their favourite cookies and giving that to them. They’ll be grateful you spend time on making something they love.
Make-Up or Skincare they love
Another favourite. Personally, I have a list of my favourites products when it comes to skincare, make-up that I love to use. Any gift that is basically part of my top products, I love to receive. You are being mindful because again, it is something that the person love, will use and discard but also that you know they love. For a long time (actually still today) all I ever wanted for Christmas was a new shade of a specific luxury brand lipstick… that cost about £28 so not too pricey for a gift, all things considered.
Check Their Favourite Authors, Brands, Designers
Get an item from their top best-sellers, timeless collection with the option for exchange. Depending on your budget, it could be a book, a piece of furniture, item, an accessory.
The point is you know that it will be LOVED, and if they have it already, they can exchange for something else.
A gift card
This is a great one for the last minute gift-giving when the time is an issue or you can’t think about anything else. (it is OK! This shouldn’t feel like work!) Make sure they can use it online and that they receive an electronic copy -it is so easy to lose a card!- and valid for at least 24 months.
If conscious shopping is important to you or the gift-receiver, think about getting a gift card from retailers that share your values. Check if they work with responsibly sourced material suppliers or offer ethically produced product lines. Check for organic material, quality control seals, recycling programs, fair trade agreements.
To avoid disappointment, you should definitely establish expectations ahead of time if you are going to go for a “no gift” Christmas or Birthday. Set expectations by sending a text message or starting a conversation. My family and my close friends know that I don’t like to receive things I don’t need. They do joke a bit about it and that’s ok. This year I have decided to have a very simple Christmas because I do not want people to stress for giving me gifts like I don’t want to fuel into consumerism for the sake of it, so have decided to go for a candle or soap only gift-giving between Adults. I don’t have kids (cats still don’t count right?) but my siblings do, most of them are now teenagers though. In my opinion, gift-giving doesn’t necessarily improve our relationships with friends and relatives, on the contrary, it can create expectations and feelings of disappointment.
Hope you enjoyed the article and it gave you some ideas to approach gift-giving differently this year,