What does it mean to be thoughtful in your giving and gifting this holiday season? One year our family decided to buy “nothing new” for the whole year as a cleanse and exercise in creativity (think eBay, vintage and homemade). Christmas that year was both challenging and freeing under this philosophy.
8 years later, I continue to take on the challenge to buy thoughtfully during the holidays. I’ve come to realize that buying into our culture’s fast and easy gifting practices can rob us of the opportunity to give a thoughtful gift that makes someone feel known and loved.
Gifts can bring beauty into the world, and so they should be made under beautiful circumstances. We can be thoughtful in regards to who we are giving to as well as where the gift is coming from. This is at the heart of Raven + Lily as well as the ethical, slow fashion movement. Giving someone a gift should be a deeply personal way of telling a loved one what they mean to you. It shouldn’t be just a checklist of “to do’s” or an obligation. It should be thoughtful and meaningful. You can even collect these gifts throughout the year so you aren’t shopping in the frenzy of the busy season.
I don’t think we should feel pressure to gift lots of things to lots of people. Again, I come back to the philosophy of less is more. Be creative. Wrap your gifts with love and thoughtfulness. Write a personal message of affection and gratitude for the person receiving the gift. I love the idea of donating to a cause close to the receiver’s heart. This can be a beautiful way of showing that person that you care about what they care about. Some people are also crafty and creative at home-made gifts (I utilized this technique heavily on our cleanse year!), and this is the perfect time to put those skills to work!
These photos represent some gift ideas for women in your life. Each item has a beautiful story about a woman who hand-crafted the design for Raven + Lily. When you give something with a story, the gift can empower the receiver to remember these amazing women and how we are all connected. You don’t have to compromise style or quality to give thoughtfully.
This holiday season we have the opportunity to give a thoughtful, ethically-made gift to someone we love. It’s not just about a gift. The gift represents the value you place on that relationship, and the choice of your gift represents your thoughtfulness towards others. So give generously and thoughtfully and freely.
Photo credit: Katie Jameson Photography