The combination of the words meaningful and gifts is probably half the problem with the whole gift giving phenomenon. We place so much importance on material gift giving that the thought of an alternative is almost unheard of. And of course the retail industry milks this sentiment for all it is worth because they want to sell more product.
There are so many other ways to show someone you love them aside from giving material gifts. Do something for someone, spend time with someone, have a nice outing together, get a manicure or facial together, play a round of golf with a friend or take a fishing trip, these are all gifts just from the heart not from the shops. It is interesting how they are been lowered so far on the gift giving list these days that most people don’t even consider it. Yet in the end if we were honest with ourselves they are all more important to all of us than we might have realised. And there doesn’t need to be a special occasion to give them either. The more I think about this situation the more complicated it is and at the same time how simple.
It’s complicated because we have been brainwashed into believing that giving a material gift is the best way to show someone you love them. And the more money you spend the stronger that love is (What a sickening thought). So people feel obliged to have some material token of affection whenever the situation calls for it. We often buy things that we see and think the person will like but more often that not we a totally off the mark.
I prefer the simplicity of gift giving. I phone my friends and family who aren’t near buy and spend so time just chatting and catching up. I also make them a personalised card. For those nearby I usually take them out for a meal and a pleasant outing. Just spending time together is more important in my book.
I know for myself that I don’t want people buying me gifts. I only want what I need and I am fussy about those things. I want them to suit my needs as perfectly as possible and if I have trouble finding just the right thing when I am shopping what are the chances that someone else is going to get it right. I would prefer a hug and a kiss and an I love you any day to a peace of clutter.
What about you. Think about all the material gifts you have received over the years and consider how many times they haven’t really been what you wanted or needed. Think about the special occasions when the gift has been non-materialistic ~ I friend has come from out of town to spend time with you, your child has done a nice deed for you, you have enjoyed a delicious meal out with friends or family. Which have been more special? I am guessing that you are all racking your brains trying to remember what material gifts you received and loved while the wonderful memories of times spent together or a lovely gesture flood into your mind immediately.
Now consider what you will give as gifts during the year ahead to those that you love. To help with ideas take a look at my Unclutter Gift Ideas guide
Today’s Declutter Item
This table runner is another item no longer needed now that we have swapped the too big dining suite to a small one that better suits our smaller home and the even smaller home we expect to have in the future.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
Getting a couple of loads of washing done. A cool breeze on an otherwise quite warm day. My car back from the mechanics (All fixed this time I hope). And so much more…
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast