Mindful Shopping & Gift Giving 2022Nov 19, 2022
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you haven’t yet, check out our two Thanksgiving focused blog posts: Thankful for Boundaries this Thanksgiving, and Four Practices & Rituals for Better Time Off.
On the heels of a holiday focused on connection and gratitude comes some of the biggest shopping days of the year. Black Friday is widely considered the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and the busiest shopping day of the year, with many retailers promoting their biggest deals and promotions.
You too might be planning to peruse the sales and get a head start on your holiday shopping. But shopping the deals can be a double edged sword: it can be easy to be seduced by huge discounts, and end up buying things that we don’t need, that spend a few moments being enjoyed before ending up shoved in a drawer or disposed of in a landfill.
Our suggestion? Bring mindfulness to your holiday shopping too. Here are our top tips for Mindful Holiday Shopping.
Tip #1 - Set your intention
Beginning with your intention is pretty universal advice, and we think it applies to holiday shopping as well. Before you get started, ask yourself a few questions:
- What are your overall goals for your holiday shopping?
- Which values do you want to reflect in your shopping? For example, reducing waste, shopping local, sustainability, fair trade, focusing on experiences over things, supporting specific causes?
- What are your limits with your holiday shopping? Do you want to manage how much time you spend shopping? How much money do you spend? Are you solving for how easy it is to get gifts to their intended recipients (for example, being able to ship directly to them, gift wrapped?)
Tip #2 - Make a list
Think about who on your list you want to recognize with a gift. You’ll likely have different levels of gifts, and perhaps you want to note that as well. An example might look like this:
- Tier 1: Kids, Spouse - the biggest, most involved gifts
- Tier 2: Parents/Grandparents, Close Friends, Sibling - a significant gift that is thoughtful and personal
- Tier 3: Friends, Relatives - a small way to honor your relationship
- Tier 4: Kid’s teacher, Household help, Neighbors, Mailman - a token to help make their holidays festive
Tip #3 - Brainstorm your gifts
Consider choosing experiences or consumables first. More stuff can be as much of a burden as a gift, and there are many other ways to celebrate the season. You can gift unique experiences, time-saving services, consumables or items. Regardless, consider brainstorming what you’d like to give before you start shopping. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Rather than items, an experience can invite your giftee to treat themselves to something they may not otherwise enjoy. Ideas include:
- Concert / Performance
- Massage / Facial / Spa
- Classes: Cooking / Music / Arts
- Wine tasting / Wine Making
- Memberships: Museum / National Parks / Zoo
Give the gift that gives them back time to themselves. Ideas include:
- House cleaner
- Laundry service
- Meal service
- Car Wash
Avoid things that go to the landfill by gifting things they’ll be able to indulge in. Indeas include:
- Restaurant Gift Card
- Coffee shop gift card / Coffee
- Wine / Wine Club
- Flower delivery service
- Chocolate / Beer / Cheese of the month
When you do choose to buy items, look for brands that align with your values. If you can afford to, supporting small businesses that give back to the community is a great way to vote with your dollars.
Here are some of our very favorite brands with a wonderful mission:
- Archer & Olive - A woman owned business with a commitment to sustainability and mental health. Their journals are a dream to write on, and their accessories are gorgeous and inspiring.
- The Earthling - Personal care products that smell gorgeous, work beautifully and minimize your impact on the planet.
- Pact Clothing - Luxurious, comfortable clothing made with certified organic fabrics, with a commitment to being fair trade and carbon neutral.
- Avocado - From eco mattresses, decadent bedding, organic loungewear and sustainable bath & body products, Avocado has something for everyone.
- Green toys (Made from recycled plastics) and Haba toys (made from natural wood), ideal for imaginative play.
- Mindful Gift Marketplace - Uncommon goods has put together a beautiful marketplace of unique gifts for every taste. Check them out!
Tip #4 - Set a Boundary
We’ve been talking a lot lately about boundaries and why they matter. Holiday shopping is one more way where it’s easy to become overextended. Setting limits about how much of your resources (including time and money) you’ll invest, and then respecting them, is one way in which you can honor yourself. If holiday shopping is overwhelming, consider simplifying:
- Get some help - hire a service, or enlist the help of your family members
- Streamline - Get a staple gift for everyone on your list, like a gift card, or a donation in their name
- Minimize - Set limits for how many people you will shop for, and decide you’ll give only one gift.
If gift buying for your immediate family has gotten out of hand, consider adopting a new tradition: Want, Need, Wear, Read. Each family member receives one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing they’ll wear, and one thing they’ll read. It’s a wonderful way to manage the scope of your gifting, and focus on the meaning of the season.
Gift buying, like everything we do, can be a source of stress, or an opportunity to be mindful and present. Take this opportunity to contribute to brands, causes and experiences you value and believe in, and keep sight of what matters: connection and gratitude.
A gift to yourself - More space, ease and intention!
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In this program, you’ll go from busy, overwhelmed and overworked to having more intention, space and ease. This four week journey was created by successful career women who have been there, and know what it’s like to have to actively intervene to live a life with more intention and ease. The program is facilitated by a Silicon Valley Sr. Director, and our VIP participants get a weekly group session with her!
Learn all about the program here, including what’s included in each of our weekly modules.
Your opportunity to join ends at 11:59pm PST on November 29th. The program kicks off November 30th. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Want a nudge to be more mindful? Grab the Mindful in 5 Phone Wallpaper!
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