Last year my family and I decided not to exchange Christmas gifts. It did feel good to escape the over-the-top shopping frenzy. Later, however, I realised that there is nothing wrong with giving gifts. What's wrong is how we choose to approach it.
How about switching from mindless shopping to mindful giving? A meaningful gift that can actually be beneficial to someone. The most magical time of the year could actually be turned into a joyful time with shared experiences.
WHAT'S THE INTENTION?
Finding the perfect gift involves doing some serious brainstorming and getting into your creative mindset. I suggest asking yourself the following questions:
- What does this person truly enjoy?
- Have they shared any challenges or struggles they are dealing with? How can your gift help?
- Are you purchasing this gift because “you have to get something” or the gift will actually be valuable and beneficial for the receiver? Will it bring happiness, be useful, be the source of self-improvement?
- What's the intention behind the gift that you want to give?
Here are some ideas for the gifts that we believe provide value and can bring lots of smiles.
Why not gift an experience that will create a lasting beautiful memory for your friend or your loved one? This is something we can cherish forever, so I believe that experience-related gifts are the best things you can give to your loved ones.
Think about the receiver. Are they into sports? Always trying out new things? Or perhaps they like relaxing experiences? It's something you know they would enjoy, but perhaps they don't put aside time or finances to do it themselves. So, organise it for them. Here are a few ideas:
- Theatre or a musical (a couple of years ago I gifted my boyfriend a ticket to “The Lion King” musical. It was amazing and I'm so happy we shared this experience).
- Cooking class (this can be a super fun evening together filled with laughter and meeting new people).
- Meditation experience (this is for someone who needs to slow down and check in with themselves).
- Yoga classes (you can gift a certificate to local classes. Help the receiver start a healthy habit).
- Spa experience (a spa experience or just a one-off massage can seem like a luxury to get for ourselves, so I'm sure that your massage-loving friend will appreciate you organising it for them).
- Concert ticket (from big names to just a small gig locally - music helps us switch off and allows us to step outside the noise inside our heads).
A LETTER FROM THE HEART
I believe that your time and undivided attention is the best gift you can give to someone. The next gift on our list doesn't cost anything, but is the most priceless.
Write a letter from the heart. To say thank you, to say how they make you feel, how grateful you are to have them in your life, how proud you are of how far they've come, how meaningful the memories are you've shared together.
This might seem very simple, but the thought behind is much bigger than any sweater or candles you can give to someone. We are often so caught up in our daily agendas and being busy that we forget to spend some quality time with our close friends and loved ones. Booking a table for lunch at a cute and intimate restaurant, where you and your friend can talk for a few hours (no mobile phones, no distractions) could be the best gift for that person and yourself. The purpose of this gift is to be truly present and listen to each other, engage in a meaningful conversation. Or, why not go on a fun one-day road trip, explore new places and play tourists all day long?
You can present this as a gift card. Write down the date and time and ask them to save the date.
Personally, I will take a new piece of jewellery any day :) I also love gifting jewellery, because it's something that can stay with the person for years. Now, don't just get any jewellery piece (or something that suits your taste), think about the person you are gifting it to - do they like wearing dainty or statement-y jewellery? Bold or subtle?
Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet have lots of wonderful options for this and you can also get it personalised. This adds even more value, as you can add a special message or a date that's significant to the receiver. And another bonus - you'll support a small business and this gift will bring much joy not only to the person you're gifting it to, but also the person who is making it.
INSPIRING QUOTES AND PHOTO PRINTS
Who doesn't love a good quote? This is a lovely and thoughtful gift for your inspiration-seeking friends. Look for something that has a beautiful design and would also serve as a unique piece of decor for their office or home. Do your research and find a quote that can be a daily source of inspiration/motivation and remind the receiver to follow their wildest dreams.
Or, choose the most special photos that represent meaningful memories from your friend's life. Print them out and create a collage or put them in a journal and write down comments. Include wonderful memories you have shared together so far or remind them of how proud you are of everything they have done/achieved.
To me, a stationery lover, paper goodies is always on top of the list. I truly believe that writing is healing, it's a form of self-reflection that can lead to mindfulness and peace.
Find a beautifully designed blank journal (for those who enjoy putting their thoughts and emotions on paper) or short entry journal (for those who are not so much into writing).
You can find beautiful hand-made journals on Etsy to make it more unique and special (so that they can't help but want to write in it :)).
Don't just gift any book that's marked at the store as a bestseller. Think about what the receiver actually likes? Do they like novels? Self-help books? Autobiographies? Fiction? Inspirational read? Most importantly, do they even like reading? I personally love receiving a good book as a present and I do enjoy the process of holding a physical copy in my hands, but there might be people who prefer audio versions. If so, why not gift a subscription to Audible?
Again, the purpose here is to gift a book that potentially could make a positive change in the receiver's life. For example, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It's about clearing the clutter in your house. And mind :)
A cookbook with delicious recipes is always a great idea. Is your friend trying to reduce an intake of sugar? Perhaps switching to healthy eating? Get a cookbook that will inspire them to stick to the new healthy habits and try out new recipes.
THE DEAR DIARY
We are also including our own Dear Diary, because for us, something to do with a writing experience has always been of a high value (as already mentioned above). It is designed for inspiration, mindfulness and focus on the things that matter most. It's something your loved one or a friend can use for 12 months - a tool to track and reflect on their journey in 2017.
IT'S A GIVEAWAY TIME, YAY!
So this is a pretty big deal - our first giveaway :) Mainly, just to say thank you so much for all your support, love, encouraging comments and kind words. We are beyond thankful!
We'll be giving away 2 diaries to one lucky winner - one for yourself and the other one as a gift to your friend. Here's what you have to do to enter the giveaway:
- Leave us a comment below about what's the most memorable and meaningful gift you've ever received.
- Follow our Instagram and Facebook accounts.
- Tag the person you will gift the diary to in our latest Insta photo pic (here).
* One entry per person. Open worldwide. The giveaway ends on December 7th. Winner will be announced on our Insta on December 8th.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. May this magical season be filled with love and warm memories! <3
With Much Love,
Zane & Dear Diary team