The Christmas crunch is on. If you don’t feel the pressure-- then perhaps you’re already on the right and mindful track. Because the holidays *suprise suprise* is supposed to be a time to sit, relax, drink things that keep our bellies warm and spend time with the people we love.
Whether you’re religious, agnostic, or have other cultural traditions during these cold months, you’ve probably felt the same way I do-- that it’s hard to separate the stressful consumer-driven vibes of the Christmas season from the cozy, heartwarming and relaxing feel of what the holidays should be.
But did you know that the holidays can make you happier?
That’s right, some amount of holiday cheer and decorations can actually help social cohesiveness, self-improvement and teachable moments to children. Especially when it comes to gift-giving.
Make the Holidays (and Gifts) About Something More
Perhaps you’ve found yourself teaching your children about different charities during the holidays. Most charities see a peak in donations during the Christmas season for this very reason.
This is a huge teachable moment for children and adults alike.
To be mindful of this season would mean to be aware of why and how we give. Take a moment out of your Christmas shopping to be present about your presents. What are you giving? And why? Ask yourself:
- Is it going to positively benefit my loved one in a way they need?
- What impact does this gift have on the environment?
- Will my loved one throw this away in the next year?
- Will this gift truly show how I feel about my loved one?
Sometimes this means we give experiences instead of things- like a pottery class for 2 or a one-night stay in a local Airbnb.
Sometimes this means we donate to a charity on their behalf.
Really Look, Listen and Speak to Your Loved Ones
Before you go out and buy your loved-one those $300 Nike shoes they’ve been drooling over, think a little deeper about what your loved one needs.
Sometimes we buy ourselves super flashy-shiny or expensive things to cover-up what is really bothering us inside.
If you’ve noticed your loved one is needing a confidence boost or a pick-me-up that isn’t going to last for a few fleeting moments-- consider something you know is going to help.
Perhaps that means buying a spa gift-card or a month of yoga classes.
A gift you know will help improve their own personal mindfulness practice.
Something to suit their personality ;)
Seriously though, paying attention to what your loved ones are telling you can really improve your relationship-- and giving them a gift based on what they’re telling you can speak mountains.
When you buy locally made goods, you're not just buying something. You're supporting the community around you. And with Amazon and other online retailers-- this is more important than ever before.
Check your listings for local craft fairs and markets.
Buying honey from your local community is a great way of supporting your local environment and local business!