Even if you have planned, made lists, and started shopping for your loved ones already, there comes a moment during the whirlwind and heightened emotions of the holiday season when we find ourselves making impulsive, reactive, and unconscious spending choices. We are often swept up in the mood, and hectic pace, of the season and can easily loose our bearings.
To help ground you and ensure that you are making mindful choices, run the following assessment when considering the purchase of a gift. If the questions cannot be answered on the spot, it is important to pause, put the item on hold, possibly leave the store, and give yourself the time – and space – to come to a decision that feels right. You haven’t said no yet, you are simply exploring a new process of mindful spending!
GENEROUS - Is this gift Generous in spirit? Thoughtful giving is a true art. The amount spent does not reflect your generosity by itself.
INTENTION - What is my Intention in giving this gift?
Is this something I wish I could give myself instead, or something I always wanted but never received?
Is there something I am making up for in giving this gift? Is there something I am hoping to receive in giving this gift? Is there another way I could connect with the recipient?
Is it uncomfortable for me to compare my gift to what others will be giving? To what I have given in the past?
Am I afraid that what I have already gotten won’t be ‘enough’?
Will this gift satisfy a long awaited wish for the recipient?
Will this gift inspire the recipient and add joy to their life?
FAIR - Is the cost of this gift Fair to myself/my resources and does it fit into my spending plan? If not, is there a creative way that I can give this gift (or an alternate) responsibly?
TIME - Will the recipient have the necessary Time ( and space ) to enjoy this gift?
We can justify most spending if we craft the right story to tell ourselves. But giving mindfully means we give generously, with clear intention, in a way that is fair to our resources, and honors the time and space the recipient must give in order to receive and enjoy the gift.
Our gifts have the amazing ability to become a symbol of our love in tangible form. Our gifts can also hold unintended and unconscious messages. Our unconscious spending does not serve us, or our loved ones, in the way we may hope.
This season, give mindfully and trust that your love is the purest gift – in tangible or intangible form. May you have a joyous holiday season, mindfully celebrating and sharing all the joy you have in your life!