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Bringing Mindfulness into Gift Buying this Christmas

December is my favourite time of the year. Days are longer, the weather is warming up, and there is an aura of love and gratitude that fills the air.

Christmas celebrations bring about special moments in abundance. And relishing in these beautiful experiences, we become more present within the moment – with ourselves, and with each other.

As well as connection and celebration, (in the form of a shameless Friends reference), Christmas is also a time for giving, and receiving, and sharing, and having… Giving mindfully and with love. Receiving with gratitude and perspective. Sharing with kindness and generosity. And having… hmm… yeah that one doesn’t really fit, good try Joey.

The act of giving is such a beautiful thing, and is absolutely something that excites me during the holiday season. It is not about the exchange of a ‘thing’, it is an exchange of love. And with that exchange of love, being mindful in the decision is extremely important to me.

Quite often it seems we have to wrack our brains to think of gift ideas for our loved ones. And at this time where we as Australians are purchasing and consuming at such a rapid rate, the waste we are sending to landfill is out of control. So with this knowledge, it is necessary to take a step back and consider this when purchasing gifts. Instead of buying things for the sake of it, I invite you to bring your practice of mindfulness to your gift giving this Christmas.

Here are 7 ideas for being more mindful in your gift buying this Christmas Season.

  1. GIFT LOVE

Creating something personal and special for your loved one will warm both their heart, and your own. A beautiful way to openly express your love and appreciation, and something they can keep for years to come, continuing to add a glimmer of love to their day.

Idea: Write a list of everything you love about the person, cut each one out and put individually into a small jar.

  1. GIVE A DONATION

Quite often, it’s difficult to think of something our loved one might want or need. Instead of gifting them a ‘thing’ for the sake of it, why not make a difference to someone who really needs it. Write your loved one a beautiful card and let them know how they have contributed.

Idea: Make a donation to a cause you know your loved one is passionate about, e.g. environmental, helping the homeless, combating poverty, supporting victims of abuse, or offering love to refugees.

  1. GIFT AN EXPERIENCE

Gift your loved one a cherished memory instead of a ‘thing’. It might be something they have been wanting to try, or something you could even experience together.

Ideas: Concert tickets, a massage voucher, a yoga pass ;-), cinema tickets, a ticket to a workshop that interests your loved one.

  1. GIFT AN ECO WARRIOR PACK

Most of us have seen the awful images of straws, plastic bags, takeaway coffee cups, and plastic bottles floating in the ocean and even encroaching precious sea life. So why not gift something that will help your loved one, and the planet at the same time!

Ideas: Keep cup, reusable straw, reusable cutlery, stainless steel drink bottle and a beautiful tote bag are a few ideas!

  1. SUPPORT LOCAL AND CONSCIOUS BUSINESSES

We’ve all seen the ‘when you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance’ meme. If you know there is something your loved one needs or wants, buy from small businesses and better yet, choose the ones doing wonderful things in the world.

Ideas: Visit the market or local stores. If online is your style, there are so many businesses giving back to the community and doing wonderful things for the planet, while also producing beautiful products. Yogawear made from recycled fishing nets; hats that get a tree planted with every purchase; swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles to name a few.

  1. GIFT AN E-VOUCHER

Whoever made up the rumour that gifting a voucher is a bad idea has been tricking us this whole time. If you’re really not sure what your loved one needs, wants, or likes, and you really want to give them something they can use for themselves, why not give a voucher so they can choose something they will love and adore. While vouchers ARE wonderful, they usually come on a card made from plastic, and when these are usually only used once, this is really quite wasteful. So instead, purchase online and opt for an e-voucher.

  1. WRAP WITH LOVE

According to Australian Ethical, 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper is used each year, which equates to 50,000 TREES. That is absolutely staggering, and the perfect reason to opt for a reusable option when wrapping your gifts.

Ideas: Give your presents in a gift box or bag your loved one can reuse. Or better yet, wrap your gifts in the Japanese Furoshiki style with a piece of cloth or a bonus tea towel gift.

And that’s a wrap (pun embarrassingly intended). We hope you have a beautiful holiday season. Remember, good always comes from being mindful – good for yourself, for your loved ones, and for the planet.

– Bri Horne

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