• Gita Matlock

The Greatest Gift: how to revive giving in the age of digital Wishlist's

I don't know about you, but there's something incredibly anticlimactic about seeking out a gift for someone you love and ending up choosing an item off their Amazon Wishlist. It's not that the person won't love the item, they picked the thing out themselves after all. It's just so scripted. There's no spontaneity, creativity, or surprise. Of course, before the age of digital wish lists I had many moments of loathing the pressure to come up with gift ideas year after year. So, I get it. Wish lists have a purpose and a place.

But, with cheap goods from overseas on semi permanent pause and increasing awareness that our consumption choices matter both personally and for the world, what are we to do?

Last week I wrote an article on my coaching blog about the importance of fun and joy in our lives. If you missed it, take a look. In the article, I ask the reader to reflect on what they do for fun and to consider the role that fun plays in their wellbeing.

So, it struck me this morning, "what if we take this awareness about the importance of joy and bring it into the act of giving at the holidays? What if we give our loved ones some fun?"

When we sit down to consider a gift, ask yourself, "What does my friend do for fun?" Then ponder how you might make that more available in their lives. If they're a parent, perhaps offer to kid-sit for them, so they can go do the thing. Or, what accessories to their favorite activity might you get for them? I, for one, will never say no to anything with a horse on it!

This is clearly just one idea of many. Some of the other ideas that hit home for me are:

  • Locally-sourced artisan goods. Everyone can use a beautiful, hand-crafted mug or a lovingly woven pair of wool socks. Some of my favorite things in our home are these little hand-made gifts.

  • Donations to amazing charities in your name. There's everything from naming a star after you to saving a whale and giving a whale stuffy under the Christmas tree.

  • Experiences! The joy of experiences and the memories created are by far the most meaningful of all gifts. In fact, perhaps your loved one would benefit from an equine workshop. They are life-changing programs that will be remembered for always. We've got two upcoming and now's the time to register!

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