Mindful Gifts for Living Thoughtfully

Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 03:35 PM

The holiday season is just weeks away! Inevitably there are a few of us scrambling to come up with great gifts for our loved ones in a short amount of time. Often the rush to purchase those last gifts is stressful and time consuming. This may ultimately lead us to buy something that "will do" instead of something that is meaningful.

We like to think that less is more, that one thoughtfully curated gift is better than several gifts purchased out of haste. Thoughtful giving shows the recipient that you truly considered them when choosing their gift. It also promotes a culture of mindfulness, gratitude, and simplicity, which is always a good thing.

Hand-made gifts adorned witih pinecones and evergreen pieces.

Supporting local businesses and craftspeople is a wonderful way to make the giving season rewarding and beneficial for both the community you live in and your loved one.

Every time you spend money, you cast a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. By choosing to shop locally, you vote for family, entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, and community.

Even if you are short on time (we won't judge!), there are several great gift ideas that will positively impact those you choose to give to, as well as support the local businesses that shape your community.

Gifts for the Body

One of the best ways to support mental and physical health is to receive regular holistic treatments. Giving gift cards for massage, reflexology, or spa treatments is the perfect way to give the gift of self-care.

If your loved one has a therapist they see regularly, seek them out and ask what options they offer for gift certificates and packages. The therapist will be delighted that you are supporting the well-being of someone you both care about.

If you want to purchase this kind of gift for someone who does not usually take the time for holistic treatments, research what would be beneficial for them. You can explore various types of holistic practices with the Holistic Health Guide, and find a local practitioner using the Health Provider Directory.

Other tried-and-true ideas for pampering include lotion, soap, bath soaks, and candles. For a thoughtful gift that is indulgent and luxurious, yet is still personal and locally sourced, try building your own gift basket.  Include items such as:

  • organic lotion and soap from Canadian companies
  • ethically traded chocolate and coffee
  • farmer's market tea, honey and other goodies
  • handmade slippers

Make sure they have a chance to really indulge! You could take the kids for a day or clean up the house so there are no distractions during the pampering.

Gifts for the Mind

Do you have someone who loves to learn? The holidays are a great time to support the personal growth of the people you care about.

If your loved one is a hands-on learner, or inquisitive and curious, consider gifting them a class. There are countless kinds, including classes on using herbs, mixing essential oils, woodworking, painting, and pottery. Be creative and choose something that will really excite the recipient.

For the self-learner, books are always a good idea!  Choose a book that reflects their unique interests: does your loved one like to cook? What kind of cooking are they interested in? Are they travelling somewhere and want to learn to cook in the traditional way of that culture? Is the photography of the food important to them?

There are so many ways for people to connect personally with books. They will treasure the right one.

Gifts for the Home

There are countless options for ethically sourced, hand-made, environmentally friendly goods for your home. Thoughtfully choosing artisan-made items  can help create a special gift that reflects the personality of the recipient.

Shelves filled with pottery waiting to be decorated.

The options are truly endless when it comes to shopping for housewares. What you choose to buy depends on personal taste, but you can't go wrong with a one-of-a-kind mug. Who doesn't love sitting and enjoying a warm drink out of their favourite cup?

As an added bonus, the  hands-on process of crafting and painting pottery, coupled with the earthy clay and kiln-firing, creates a piece that forever embodies both nature and the craftsperson who made it.

Time Well Spent

Regardless of the gifts you choose (or do not choose) to buy this year, remember that time is one of the greatest gifts you have.

Whether you are resting, travelling, surrounding yourself with family, or taking time for yourself, be mindful of your time. Practice self-care, have meaningful conversations, and find ways to rejuvenate this holiday season!

Happy holidays from the NHPC!

Three female friends laughing

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