It’s not easy to admit this: sometimes, holiday gifting can feel like a chore.
It’s meant to be a purposeful gesture of love. But the shopping, buying, and gift-giving that’s expected at this time of year can feel routine or even transactional.
No more! This year, let’s fill our gifting with intention again.
All it takes is a slight shift of perspective…and we happen to have a mindfulness exercise for that (hey, we’re health coaches. We love a good growth tool).
Next time you’re buying a holiday gift, take a moment to set an intention and reconnect to what’s at the heart of gift-giving: generosity, thoughtfulness, and love.
If you’re new to intention-setting or want a little inspiration, we love this one:
Purposeful Gifting Intention
Before you get in the checkout line or click “complete my purchase,” start by calling to mind the face of the person you’re buying for. Then, holding that image in your mind, complete the following:
This gift is for [person], and they are special to me because _________.
I chose this gift for them because _______.
I hope they feel [emotion/reaction] when they receive it.
Now ask yourself, do I feel connected to this gift-giving experience? Does this resonate?
If the answer is no, then maybe this isn’t a gift you need to buy.
Of course, there’s no pressure to make every gift the most meaningful and perfect thing you’ve ever gifted. We’re all just doing our best out here. But if you’re feeling disconnected from gifting, it helps to come back to your values. Gifting sends a message and creates an experience for others, and for you as the gifter, too. So it’s worth asking, am I giving gifts just to have something to give? Am I sending the message I want to send?
If you’re still not sure how to turn gift-giving into a meaningful experience, one of these tips might help get you there:
- Is this a one-off or a gift-that-keeps-on-giving? Let’s take a page out of organizing consultant Marie Kondo’s book: all gifts are special when we open them, but will your gift continue to spark joy for the recipient AFTER that first moment? Prioritize gifts that will continue to yield beauty/usefulness/joy and not just take up space.
- Are social causes important to you? Buy from artists, creators, and companies who support the causes that matter to you, and avoid buying from those who don’t.
- Is the environment at the top of your priorities list? Think about ways to reduce the impact of your gift. Maybe you can buy used, or walk/ride a bike to the store instead of driving, or skip the bags/gift wrapping to save paper. No pressure to be perfect – effort is everything!
- Do you prefer to make gifts yourself? Giving something homemade is a great way to really connect to the heart of gifting. If you can, choose materials that have a significance to you or the recipient, so that both the final product and the pieces that make it all have a special meaning.
With these tips and intentions, we hope you’ll find your inner gifter again!
Look at it this way: any gift can be special in the moment, simply because the act of gift-giving says, “hey, I was thinking of you, and I thought you’d like this.”
But when you give a gift that has meaning—both for the giver and the receiver—it’s so much more special. That meaning doesn’t go away after you give the gift. It stays.
Like what you’ve read? Then explore our Short Courses!