There are no two ways about it: The Holidays have Arrived. And along with them, a flurry of festivities and ample opportunities to get carried away with the hustle and bustle of the season.

Amidst this hustle and bustle – or perhaps because of it – we thought it apt to reflect on the art of gift-giving and the value of approaching this ritual with mindfulness and intention.

When approaching gifting, we feel it’s important to consider the following: Who, What, When and Where… Why? We’ll tell you:

Listen. (‘Who’)

Not just to the lists people frantically put together in late November, but to the person you are buying for. Consider conversations you’ve had or time you’ve recently spent with them that feels memorable. Is there a gift that could envelop that interaction? Or symbolize it? Or, perhaps they’ve opened up about a current challenge in their life, small or large. Sometimes the most meaningful gift will appear as something practical that has a positive impact on that person’s day-to-day. 

It’s meaningful to learn that someone was present when spending time together, and a thoughtful little gift can be a wonderful way to acknowledge that presence in our relationships. 

Choose a theme. (‘What’)

Whether it be handmade, locally made or sourced, fair trade, or made of natural materials, committing to a theme while buying gifts can be very helpful. It sets a healthy boundary (goodbye indecision overload!) and also ensures you will be purchasing items that you feel good about putting your money towards. Deciding on a theme also removes any anxiety around ‘it could be anything, where do I start?!’. Because you have a theme to work within, it provides that place to start so that you can focus your attention on making personal choices within that theme.

Plan ahead. (‘When’)

We always try to keep a running note on our phone or on a pad of paper so that we can jot down ideas when they come up. That way, you’re not panic buying. Additionally, this gives you time to pay special attention to loved ones; what’s going on in their lives, what they’re excited about, stressors that could use alleviating, projects they have going on… 

Being able to find something specific and thoughtful for someone you care about goes such a long way!

Consider longevity. (‘Where’)

Speaking of going a long way, we always keep in mind the longevity of the items we are gifting. Rather than giving someone a gift that will last them for the season, we try to provide something that could be cherished for a lifetime.

We like to keep in mind where the item was made, by whom, what kinds of materials were used, if the item feels like it could withstand trends, and whether or not the person for whom the item is intended will welcome it into their home.

Ultimately, we’re here to encourage you to make mindful choices this holiday; to try and remove the pressure to find ‘the perfect gift’ and replace it with finding an intentional one. Whether it be grand, small, practical, or sentimental, by approaching this beloved ritual with intention, you’ll find it to be a rather fulfilling one.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming holiday gift guide where we put our theory into practice!