Christmas is creeping up on us, quicker than I care to think about. Every year a list of Christmas presents I need to buy gathers, on paper or haunting me in the back of my mind; the Kris Kringle gifts, the gift for her, the gift for him and then the gift for all the others too.
In the frenzy of end of year celebrations and holiday preparations, buying presents can become more of a task and an obligation to fulfil. So how to we change that? How do we bring the pleasure and meaning back into gift giving?
In our consumeristic world, there are marketing messages that boom loud and clear at this time of year. They make us unsatisfied with what we have, uneasy about what will please others and feed on our insecurities to guide us into purchasing what they want us to purchase.
But giving a gift to another person can begin in another space. Turn down the volume of the marketing message and start with you... in silence. You are giving a gift because you have a relationship with another human being. Hopefully in some way they having meaning to you that is unique between you both. Giving a gift is another way of communicating between you. So write your own script, that is uniquely yours.
It is in the mindfulness of relationship that we can start asking the questions that inspire gift ideas. These are some of my favourite inspiration questions:
Our favourite topic of conversation is....
The colour that I think makes their eyes sparkle the most is...
My favourite memory of us involved....
I love that they love...
Finding an answer to one of these often leads to gift ideas that you can be more confident they will like. I know the gifts I treasure the most have come from people who ask these types of question. The teapot from a friend who knows I love chatting with her over a cup of tea, the earrings that I would not have been adventurous to buy myself but love to wear because my daughter could see they would suit me.
So this year, be brave and return to the art of gift giving. Celebrate the relationship you and only you have with that person. Leave their generic Christmas gift "want list", the mass produced boxes of chocolates and gift cards to your back up emergency plan. Buy less and buy meaningful.
I know that is what I am inspired to do.