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A lot comes up for me this time of year, with the holidays just around the corner I find myself experiencing mixed emotions around giving and receiving gifts. For myself it is all too easy to get pulled in to a negative thought pattern surrounding the holidays and the consumerism that seems much more obvious this time of year.

I believe that underneath it all I really do enjoy this season. The lights, the love, the break, and if I’m honest, giving and receiving gifts. Once I can look past the feelings of pressure and comparison and judgement, it can be a beautiful way of expressing love, gratitude and appreciation.

I love when I get clear inspiration for a gift. The process of putting it together- whether that means seeking it out online, heading to a local market or hand making it brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction. The problem for me is, without that inspiration it feels like a tedious ordeal of simply exchanging money for stuff that is probably unethically sourced and terrible for the environment all because you’re expected to show people that you care about them. If the
holidays are meant to be about love and together-ness then we must remember that there is supposed to be joy in the traditions and that we can evolve the tradition of gift giving.

Last year my husband and I gave ourselves the gift of taking a whole day to ourselves, we took our snowshoes out to Kananaskis and spent the day on a frozen lake. This year we’ve agreed to write each other a letter.

There are all sorts of ways to show people you appreciate them and if that means purchasing an appliance or sweater that you think they would love then that’s great! It can mean giving them a book that changed your life, hand making them a gift or giving a donation in their name. It can mean agreeing to spend some quality time together, gifting them an experience they may be too guilty to indulge in themselves- a float tank, a massage, a yoga pass or concert, a trip. It can simply be a thoughtful text. Let’s remember to spread light and love and do what makes us feel uplifted this year.

Lots of love
Jana