A Thoughtful Approach to Holiday Shopping

November 26, 2018


These next 30 days are some of my favorite of the year. Christmas movies, warm sweaters, hearty foods and hot beverages are a few of my favorite things. It is the finale of the year that is often spent with family and friends and people tend to be a little nicer. What’s not to love?

Though I greatly look forward to Christmas every year, and always fight for Christmas in July (much to Evan’s dismay), the holidays seem to get heavier and heavier as Evan and I transition more into mindful consumption and become increasingly aware of global impact needless purchases have.

Every year I feel the pressure to buy more and do more. Not only do I feel pressured by most of the ads (which can be in the thousands) I see everyday, one of my love languages is gifts, which puts me in the mindset that I NEED to buy everyone a certain amount of gifts or spend a certain amount of money per person to feel good about Christmas. I know this isn’t really true, but the pressure I put on myself and that I feel from society puts me in this mindset.

I wanted to take a moment today to remind you that you don’t have to go into debt, spend a certain amount of money, or get really stressed over Christmas shopping. There are so many alternatives to the typical hustle and bustle, and while everyone is posting about cyber Monday deals I just wanted to give you a gentle reminder that you can always opt out of that. 

The holiday season is exactly what you make it, and with a little time and thoughtfulness it can be relaxing and fun all around.


Think about the experience you want to have. Mentally preparing your shopping experience in advance will help mitigate the stress that often comes with finding the perfect gift. Consider how you want to feel while shopping and plan your experience around that.

Prepare. Make a list of who you’re buying gifts for and how much you want to spend on each person. Brainstorm a few gift ideas so that you’re not scouring Amazon endlessly and still unsure of what you’re looking for.

Let go of the “perfect” gift. I am for sure guilty of trying to find the perfect gift for everyone every year. Perfect usually doesn’t exist (except for that one time I gave my mom nice photos of all of my siblings and she cried from joy), so aim to give something personal and heartfelt.

Ask for a list. Some of my favorite gifts (and the ones I’m most surprised by!) come from a Christmas list I was asked to make. You can always take an extra step to make the gift personal, and you know your family or friend will love it!


1. Figure out your family’s love languages, and target your gift (or gifts) based on that. You can find an explanation of the love languages here. If you don’t know it? Use December to get to know your family a little better!

2. Make something for them. You can take a look at this post with a lot of great DIY ideas, but if you don’t have any “creative” skills, you have plenty of time to learn a new skill and make something totally creative and personal. Youtube is overflowing with tutorials from sewing to drawing to woodworking, so the possibilities are nearly endless.

3. Find something totally vintage and unique to the person. My dad is a coin and money collector, and I got him a confederate note from the 1830s one year and he loved it. He’s a kind of “I have everything I need” type of guy, so it felt good to find something different and unexpected that he liked.

4. If you don’t want to (or lack the time) to make something yourself, see what Etsy has to offer. You can find nearly anything on Etsy, and the best part about it is that these are independent sellers that you are helping support during the holiday season. Find something wonderful and personalized that will be a favorite for years to come.

5. Give them an experience. Plan a weekend getaway with your friends or significant other, take a cooking class, or do something like a couple’s obstacle course. Plan a movie night or home cooked dinner with your parents and catch up.

6. Suggest Secret Santa.  We started secret Santa with Evan’s family a couple of years ago and it’s been a big hit! It’s helpful because we all take time to pick out a few gifts we would like, get on the same page with spending, and even find creative ways to throw our Secret Santa of our scent! It takes the pressure off of everyone to get several gifts for the whole family, saves time, and is always a fun surprise when we try to guess who the gift is from. It’s also more meaningful because more time is spent with the family playing games, eating, or watching movies rather than opening gifts.

What are your plans for mindful Christmas shopping this year?

Thanks for stopping by!



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