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Mindful Gift Giving

"The Holiday Rush."

"I just got to get through the holidays."

"I'm running outta time to do all my shopping."


How many of these phrases do we casually hear and simply associate with the holiday season?


Many of us are struggling and scrambling to check off gift lists and the stress can overpower the magic of the holidays, the magic of spending time with loved ones, of reflecting on our year whether good or bad, and of being thankful for what we do have. Gift giving has become more like a ritual or chore that you must do with checking off yet another to-do list.


Here we would like to offer a different perspective, one that may help alleviate the stress and the anxiety that we, as a culture, may have built around gift giving.


Ask yourself this question, "Are you happier watching someone open something you gave with excitement and happiness or are you happier receiving a gift?"


The answer may depend on what that gift is of course, but most people are happier giving rather than receiving. There's science behind that feeling.


Altruistic acts elevate the areas in our brains that are associated with positivity and happiness as well as decrease stress hormones in our body. When we select a gift for someone, we spend time thinking about their daily life, things that make them happy, things they may be in need of, things that may make their lives better, and things that may just make them smile.


Instead of thinking of the person as another name to check off on list, we can allocate time and space for them, wholeheartedly thinking about that person and what they mean to us and being thankful of having built a relationship with them. Giving a great gift is not easy, but the power that lies in the spirit of gift giving is the fact that we are forced to carve out time for them and that is something that is beneficial to them as well as ourselves.


Here's a mindful meditation to help guide you bring back the joy of gift giving:


* Clear your mind and picture who you are buying a gift for.

* Think about 3 memories with them that sparked joy.

* Thank those memories and thank yourself for having that relationship.

* Now picture this person in their daily lives:

What are they struggling with in their lives?

What do they get excited about?

What would they need to better their lives?

What can you share that they will treasure this piece of memorandum?


Let that be your guide for your gift to this person.



With all of the stresses that we cannot control, we can at least alleviate some of the stress and anxiety related to gift giving by changing our own thought process and remembering why we give gifts in the first place.


If you have some methods that you use to alleviate the stress of the season, please share with us below in the comment section.


Happy Holidays from all of us at Tiny Sprouts!

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