I love gift-giving. If I see something that my sister will really love, I want to buy it and give it to her right away. But somehow when the holidays roll around, I feel pressured and the joy of giving spontaneously is replaced with stress about finding the right thing at the right time. On top of that, I do not want to contribute to a wasteful consumer culture by buying people things that they do not really want or need.
I also really love receiving thoughtful gifts. There is great joy in knowing that someone paid attention to my interests or needs and gave accordingly. But the truth is, I do not need more stuff, and the things I want most are not things, anyway; they are values and experiences and time spent with loved ones. But how can I ask for these things and still honor the giver? How can I give well to my loved ones without the stress of finding something perfect? What can I give and receive that will be good for our planet and for people with needs far greater than my own?
Today I discovered the SoKind registry, a tool for building a creative “wish list” of gifts including time, services, handmade, secondhand, and charitable gifts. This is a great idea for wedding and baby registries. Here’s a sample Christmas Wish List that I put together for our family:
You can find more information and other sample registries on the SoKind website. I hope you will check it out and consider how to celebrate all of your special occasions with more joy and less stress, more love and less waste. Happy giving!