The social pressures and the financial burden of gift-giving can turn anyone into a Grinch.
For us though — market researchers, digital marketers & PR pros who are working in an organization that seeks to serve the nation’s poorest — the holidays bring even harder questions than “who gets what?”.
Why must we keep on anchoring generosity on material gifts?
How can we push for more mindful giving?
How can we go beyond buying a social enterprise gifts?
Well, instead of bemoaning the financial and social costs of giving everyone a present, a couple of work colleagues & I came up with a new way to be generous this season! 🙂
In lieu of buying gifts, we had a “cashless Christmas” instead.
How does it work? Gifts must cost nothing & must be based on a singular idea. Whether the idea is in the realm of tried & true tips or inspiring mantras is all up to the giver. The only requirement for the exchange is that the piece of paper or cardboard containing your idea is “display-able”.
Here are some of the (amazing!) things we received:
A new way of seeing your family tree.
Doctor Who art.
A TARDIS containing timey-wimey ideas.
For the friend who just movd out: a household-use board with emergency numbers
A portrait in pencil.
A favorite snack & kind thoughts
A set of medals for days when you simply deserve one .
We’re in stitches over this.
Ideas are precious & powerful gifts worth sharing.
Our jobs are important but they’re not essentials.
I’ve been having to remind myself that while working furiously (by this, I mean intensely & with all my heart) is great — I shouldn’t let my 9 to 5 steal occupy more space in my life than it should. It’s been happening in the last 3 months — work took a seat a my dinner table, I showered with it, I dreamed it, I asked my spouse about it. It edged essential things out.
I let my “today” items (the deadlines, the emails & calls to return, the targets to meet) overtake things I desperately needed for more “tomorrows” (self-care, prayer, time with family, sleep).
Tomorrow is Monday. I think it’s time I put today down.