We love gifts! We love giving them, receiving them, hoping for them and being surprised by what we’d give to someone and what they’d give us. Over the years we have been practicing how to be mindful with gift giving, and understanding what that means to us. For us, gifting is about expressing joy, gratitude, and sharing. Being mindful with it is about paying attention and becoming aware of the ways in which we give to someone, why we give, and when. Buying presents for someone (including ourselves) can bring up a variety of feelings – some of them pleasurable and some conflicting. Gifting can feel stressful when trying to select the “right” gift from a plethora of available options, the bombardment of advertisements at every billboard, cultural expectations and personal standards along with the uncertainty of whether the recipient of our present will appreciate what we give them. We’re sharing with you here what we have learnt, and hope that it can help make your experiences of gift giving novel and fun.
1. Think About How you Feel when Buying a Present for Someone.
In the IKKIVI team, we realise we tend to feel excited and more connected with the person we’re buying a gift for, when we genuinely and intentionally want to give our loved one or acquaintance a gift — whether it’s a handmade item, our love and presence, or a gift from a shop. When buying a gift for someone, we ask ourselves seven questions: a) Do I actually want to give them something? b) What are the things I know about the person I am going to buy a present for? c) Will they be able to enjoy the gift I give them? d) Does the gift I give to them have the potential to bring us closer and cultivate a more meaningful relationship? e) What can I do if I feel unsure about what to give? f) How much money can I, or would I like to spend on buying something for them? g) How am I feeling, and what would make the process of looking for and buying a present easeful for me, or, keep stress at a minimum? Asking ourselves these questions puts us in a space where we (have to) become more deliberate about what we are doing, and reflect on how truthfully we are able to and want to engage in gift giving. We encourage you to ask yourself similar questions or use prompts when buying something, as this can reduce anxieties and make the experience rewarding for you as well.
2.Personalise the Present
There are many beautiful things we can buy for someone, and often we try that our gift is one that can translate into a shared experience, create memories and be enjoyed over time. We like giving handwritten notes, gratitude jars, mindful card and board games (for us to all play together), journals, going for picnics or boat rides, surprising our friends or family by bringing them a meal they love, simply spending time with them and extending our help with something they may be struggling with a little. We feel that gifts don’t have to be costly to express care or celebrate an occasion and like finding ways that can bring some newness to our relationships. What are some experiences you think would be creative and gentle for you and the recipient of your gift?
3.Introduce them to Something New
Gift giving can be a mindful way of introducing someone to an aspect of conscious living – buying a present from an eco-conscious shop, giving a gift card, a book from a different discipline, a new recipe or anything they may have been wanting to try. At IKKIVI, we have various gift cards that you can give to a loved one for them to explore sustainable brands, designs and products. Through these cards, we hope to encourage the conscious consumption of beautifully and mindfully made products that create minimal negative impact on the environment and its people. What we love about giving (and receiving!) gift cards is that they allow us to stay on budget, almost always assure that the recipient of our gift will love what they buy, and lets them freely and thoughtfully get something they may need or be looking for.