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10 Top Tips to Become a Super Giver this Christmas

10 Top Tips to Become a Super Giver this Christmas 1

Giving gifts at any time should be about joy, reaffirming relationships and positivity.

However when you think about it a little giving and receiving gifts can actually be a damaging and negative experience. It’s crazy but it’s often true!

So how can gifts be damaging?

There are the obvious impacts that giving unwanted or useless gifts can have, like the environmental damage of having the gift produced, delivered and then eventually thrown away. If these are not bad enough there are the more subtle impacts of guilt and obligation…

Can presents cause emotional damage too?

Can you look around your house or apartment and see unwanted, unused gifts that you have been given just sitting there on the shelf or shoved in a cupboard gathering dust? Why are they still there? Well that will be the guilt!

How could you dispose of that glass paperweight that your Auntie gave you 15 years ago? Or the 10th cuddly toy your caring partner bought?

Receiving useless gifts weighs us down and can actually create negative emotions associated with attachment. The solution? Get in early and agree with friends and family to cut down the giving to a minimum. This is easier said than done and you might be accused of being a scrooge, but find any ally and make your case!

Do you feel obliged?

Buying a gift should be a super positive experience for everyone involved, but do you feel that you are stuck in a present buying arms race – that has probably been going on for years. Giving over the top presents can actually be emotionally stressful for those receiving them. Especially if they are not in a position to reciprocate, which often comes down to money.

So be careful with you giving, sure be thoughtful – but don’t go over the top or you risk making that person feel obligated to you and that is not a gift anyone wants to receive!

Gifts that give and don’t take.

This year I am suggesting that we resist the urge to go crazy with our online shopping but take a moment to consider alternative, thoughtful ways to show those we love that we care.

I have pulled together some ideas that can actually have positive impacts and the feel good factor too!

Tell people you don’t want presents!

This may be a struggle for some of us. So as an alternative agree with your friends and family a sensible price limit. Find an ally to make this easier when pitching to the group!

Give an experience

Rather than buying someone with ‘stuff’ give them an experience – dinner at their favourite restaurant, a photography course, a massage. Feel good and no clutter!

Shop locally

Especially now with many smaller businesses suffering – try and shop locally wherever you can and support your local economy.

Make something special

If you are at all crafty take some time to make a small gift. It could be cookies or a handmade necklace. People will really appreciate the effort!

Donate to charity, adopt an animal or plant a tree

For those with a bit more of a social conscience why not give them something that aligns with their values.

Buy consumables

Buy presents that people can consume and enjoy. This could be their favourite chocolates or a special bottle of wine. That way they can enjoy without accumulating any additional ‘stuff’.

Buy sustainable, organic & fair trade

When buying try and minimise the impact of your gifts, or try and encourage companies making positive changes in how they treat their worker, the environment or any other positive actions they may be taking.

Use wrapping paper that can be reused or recycled

Don’t go for glitter or shiny paper as this cannot be recycled. Make it pretty in other ways like reusing old Christmas cards as decoration. How about using pretty cloth to wrap presents – this way it can be used time and time again.

Return or donate unwanted gifts

If you get given something you don’t want or will not use try to return it or donate it to a charity shop. This seems harsh but it is better helping someone else rather than sitting in your cupboard!

Create a joint experience

If you can’t be with your loved ones this year, how about finding a pantomime (maybe a British thing?!) or a short Christmas play script online, allocate parts, get people to dress up and then do it over Zoom or Skype on Christmas day! Alternatively try singing a few carols. The result could be a disaster, but it will definitely be fun.

Now being from Japan I’m not that into Christmas, but these suggestions can be used throughout the year for whatever occasion you are celebrating.

I hope you have found some inspiration and can become a super-giver this year!

Let me know which of these tips you are planning to implement this Christmas and I’d love you to invite you to share them with me via DM on Instagram!