November 29, 2018
As we head into the heart of the holiday season, I know many of you are focused on finding the right gift for loved ones, friends, and colleagues. I have a shopping tip that is guaranteed to make your gift-giving truly special.
I want you to make this the holiday season that you give wisely and compassionately: to yourself as much as to others.
As I share in my newly updated Women & Money, practicing generosity is one of the centerpieces of building a life of abundance. So often, I see women who give, give, give, even when they don’t have the money, the time, or the energy to be giving so much.
Stop it. Right now! Do you hear me?
True generosity is when you are as generous to yourself as you are to others. Giving what you can, without giving more than you have.
So how exactly can you be generous to yourself when building your holiday gift giving list?
I would also encourage you to see if you can inject more heart and meaning into your gift giving.
Meaningful gifts don’t have to cost anything. Offer a friend a gift certificate to help them with something you know they want to do, but need an encouraging buddy to help them just do it. Maybe that’s a gift certificate to show up 2x a week for a neighborhood walk, because if you both don’t schedule it, you will never find the time to talk and move (which are both so good for your heart and head). Or, maybe it’s a gift certificate to help paint the room they have been talking about redoing forever. Or, an offer to take their kids for two weekends next year, so they can have some down time.
That said, I know your email inbox, computer screens, radio, and T.V. are jam packed with advertisements for great gifts, at supposedly great deals. I know it’s hard to avoid.
One way to avoid being sucked into overspending is to shift your gift giving from things to support. Gift a charitable donation. That is, rather than giving something that may not be appreciated, or worn, or ever taken out of its packaging, consider making a charitable donation in someone’s honor. It’s bound to be something that you and the gift recipient will both feel so good about while you are also helping others. How is that not the essence of the holiday spirit?
You can pick the charity, or check in with people on your list and say, “This season I would love to help others by making a donation in your honor. Is there an organization you would like me to donate to? Or, I can pick one.” Some charities will send an acknowledgment of the gift. But I suggest you write a personal note yourself, sharing that your gift to them was this donation, and more importantly to say a few words about why you are so grateful that this person is in your life. Taking the time to express your friendship, or love, is an act of amazing generosity.