Your 2021 Sustainable Mindful Minimalist Holiday Gift Guide

This year, as every year, around this time I receive way too many Gift Guides, by email or mail or any other way. Some I don’t even want to open for fear of what they contain and what unbidden yearnings they might inspire (I’m not immune to consumerist desire, and I’m not alone in that). Others I peruse, become disillusioned by, and delete. Paper ones are recycled or saved for collage or make-believe, or wrapping gifts or other things.

I’ve received the gift guides that are minimalist: full of ideas of things to give as experiences, like games and tickets to finding gift-giving strategies that work for everyone. There are the eco-friendly sustainable gift guides, full of things from companies that are doing good for the world. There are even the mindful gift guides, with meditations and classes, pillows and kits, ahd DIY gift guides, too. If you need to, want to, long to give a gift, go ahead and click through those, and give, please do. Give to those you love, and to those you don’t even know.

But if there is something in you that says, I’m sick of gift guides, or questions whether you need to buy into an extended holiday season that has come a month or more too soon, or simply wants an alternative to purchasing and even gifting, consider these choices instead.

If you want to give minimalism:
– give less. offer to take something, or help clean out.

– give time. it takes up no space.
– give love. same as above, yet it’s so full.

– give nothing. here is someone who will truly appreciate this.

If you want to give environmental awareness:
– give your care for the earth with an action or a pledge
– go enjoy nature with your loved ones
– return your physical gifts so they can be used by someone else
– give hope. this is what environmentalists really want.

If you want to give mindfulness:
– share your attention – do something together they want to do

– gift the gift of really listening
– share a joyous meal together
– give the present. the mindful will want nothing else.

These are only thought exercises. Perhaps a better question is: what does the person (or being or planet or…) really want? What do they really need? If it’s something you can and want to offer, let that be your gift. Nothing more is required of you.

You are filled with love. You have about 24 hours, like everyone else. You have attention to give. and the gift of twenty-four hours is yours, too. What will you give? What will you give yourself? What will you be open to receiving?

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