'Tis the season of gift giving and receiving. I enjoy both, I think most of us do. Truthfully, I like this best when it's at unexpected times. Nonetheless, we all find ourselves giving gifts or receiving them at prescribed intervals. It can be a little maddening on top of the enjoyment.
I've been refining my gift-giving philosophy. Here are a few of my guidelines. What are yours?
- Am I giving from a place of joy? If not, then something has to change. I have cut back deeply on obligation gifting in favor of giving with more thought and heart.
- Am I in a gifting pattern that is no longer necessary? Some long-time friends and I made the agreement a few years ago to stop the annual Christmas gift exchange. It had become a habit, but none of us needed the stuff. Instead, we spend time together.
- Can I make a gift this person would appreciate? Or can I give something made locally?
- Can I give an experience (rather than another thing)?
- Is this something that I think the person will love? (I try to avoid "generic" gifts when possible. A tea suited to the person's tastes or personality is always an awesome gift!)
- I'm learning that the wrapping and unwrapping of something is half the fun! The Japanese understand this well. I'm not a neat corner-folder-wrapper, but I am creative so I go with that.
- The Dear Hubby (DH) and I seldom exchange gifts for the big holidays. Instead, we share little surprises throughout the year. On the "big days" we favor spending time together in a special way. If one of us really wants a thing, we make a specific request. This took me a bit to wrap my head around in our early days, but the DH and I are both much happier with a specific list!
- I also give Mom a list. Thank you, Mom, for all of your generosity.
- I am appreciative of any gift I receive (even the odd ones!) and write a thank-you note. There is grace in practicing gratitude.
I hope your holiday gifting and receiving season brings you joy. Do you have tips to share?