For the past few years I've considered my consumerism around the holidays more than ever before. Day-to-day, I think about where I'm shopping and who made the things that I purchase. Overtime this thinking has turned into habit which has changed the way I shop for gifts forever.
When it comes to Christmas I make a vow early on in the holiday season to approach it consciously.
I consider the origins of the gifts I purchase, what gift giving means to me, and how to work with and around others' gift giving parameters.
Giving gifts at Christmas is a joyful experience and a tradition for many. I've found a few strategies over the years that help reduce the number of gifts I buy so that I can focus on the sentiment behind each one.
For example, when I do buy gifts, I use my spending power on local businesses and gifts that promote wellness. I think about what would be most useful and enjoyable for the receiver and how long the gift is likely to last.
These techniques help me to not only maintain, but boost my Christmas spirit:
- Draw names with your family and/or friend groups | this limits the quantity of gifts you need to buy so that you can focus your energy on finding thoughtful gifts
- With your significant other, skip the presents and plan a weekend away somewhere | You'll likely spend around the same amount but what you'll get is an experience together instead of "stuff".
- Buy your gifts at local businesses | The benefits of buying local are not new news, and what I like most about it is that when you buy something from a local company, it's automatically a thoughtful gift! There is a story behind each item that you buy locally that you don't need to write yourself.
- Consider how you can give back using the extra time you now have
- When you host or attend a holiday party, see if you can request that each guest bring something for their community such as a toy for Santas Anonymous, a warm winter item for #BundleUpYEG or Santa YEG, or a food item for the Edmonton Food Bank.
And finally, buy on consignment this holiday season. Commercial Christmas tends to emphasize "new" and "now". But if you are participating in Christmas consciously, buying pre-loved items helps you in many ways:
- Skip the malls, the crowds and the line-ups | not to mention the stress of finding mall parking on a weekend
- Save money | up to 75% less than retail prices
- High-end and luxury items for less | don't break the bank on brand new luxury brands
- Lessen the strain that Christmas consumerism has on our environment
Here are my fave conscious consignment gifts currently in the shop!
|(Click on a picture to go to that item)|