The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts

‘Tis The Season – The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts

The holiday season is the perfect time to consider how gift-giving and receiving affect you and your family. We all experience the season of giving differently based on our financial budgets, emotions, expectations, and thoughts on consumerism. Taking some time to get to know what you value about the act of gifting can help you get the most out of the process during the holidays and year-round.

No matter the season, the best gift that you can give and receive is the gift of time. Being present in the moment and feeling gratitude for your family and friends can help you enjoy your time together instead of getting caught up in the blur of a to-do list. Although it is easy to get distracted by consumerism during the holiday season, it is important to remember that you are only in control of what you give, and not what you receive.

Keeping some principles of the KonMari method in mind can help you to navigate your gift-giving and receiving practices this Christmas and will help bring some extra joy to your holiday season.

Let’s begin by tackling gift-giving with some helpful strategies:

  1. Try to thoughtfully observe and listen to each of your family members and friends. Consider where they get their energy from and what makes their lifestyle unique. A great gift will reflect their personality.
  2. Check-in with your family and friends’ thoughts surrounding gift-giving this year. If you are on the same page about gifting expectations, this might be the perfect time to make a change to your gift-giving traditions.
  3. Ensure that the gifts you give can be returned or exchanged and that the gift receipt is included.
  4. Let go of any expectations you had once you have given the gift. As the saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts” and the receiver will appreciate exactly that.

As a recipient of a gift you do have some choices after receiving it.

  1. Recognize that the intention of a gift is always good. Even if the item is unwanted or seems misplaced, recognize that the giver took the time to choose it for you. Appreciate the act of giving even if the item does not spark joy.
  2. Do not feel obligated to keep gifts out of guilt. KonMari principles teach us that all items in our home should spark joy and be cherished. An item stored in the back of your closet with the tags still on for years will likely feel more like a burden than a gift.
  3. If a family member or friend asks what you would like, don’t be shy. You are the best judge of what your needs are.

One of the best pieces of advice for this time of year is to practice the gift of self-care!

  1. Take time for yourself. Schedule it into your calendar and give yourself time to enjoy the things that fuel you.
  2. Although it may be impossible to attend every event that you’re invited to, think about which ones are most important to you and try your best to make time for them.
  3. Stick to your budget. If you know your limits for the holiday season, do your best to stay within them so that you can start the new year off on the right foot.
  4. Have open communication with family and friends. Being on the same page about gifting and other holiday expectations can help ease tension and allow you to enjoy time together.
  5. Practice being grateful for what you have. The holiday season is a great time to appreciate all of the things you already have in your life that spark joy.

“The true purpose of a present is to be received.” Marie Kondo

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