The holidays are meant to be a time for celebrating with family and friends, partaking in meaningful traditions, and sharing gifts of appreciation with one another. But giving doesn’t have to exclusively mean buying a gift. These days, it can be challenging to prioritize the values of simplicity and mindfulness when bombarded by the constant messages of consumer culture. As Mother Theresa says, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
Here are a few ways you can practice mindful and thoughtful giving this season.
1. Remember the Gift of your Presence. Consider ways to share the gift of your presence, rather than relying only on purchasing gifts. Consider a thoughtful gift involving a homemade item or the gift of cooking, art, babysitting, or sharing one of your skills. Offering your time can often be a meaningful way to show your appreciation and support. Remember the gift of shared experiences.
2. Make it Personal. Take time to write personal notes or create hand-made cards. Include notes of appreciation or gratitude. Taking time to write a short message goes a long way towards giving a thoughtful gift.
3. Support Causes Meaningful to You. Many organizations, including Northwest Earth Institute, rely on end of year gifts and contributions. Consider donating to Northwest Earth Institute in someone’s name and sharing this as a meaningful gift. At Northwest Earth Institute, you can give a gift membership, or give the gift of one of NWEI’s books. Consider giving the gift of learning by sharing NWEI course books with family and friends. We are happy to send the book or books of your choice to the recipient(s) on your gift list. If NWEI has impacted you, we invite you to share the gift of these resources with others.
4. If You Do Shop, Remember Amazon Smile. When you do choose to purchase items, remember programs like AmazonSmile that support non-profits and other causes. You can support Northwest Earth Institute via AmazonSmile for any online purchases you make this season (or anytime throughout the year). At no additional cost to you, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to NWEI. You can access this feature here, or visit Smile.Amazon.com and search the charitable organizations on the bottom right side of the page.
As Kathy Calvin says, “Giving is not just about giving a donation, it is about making a difference.” We invite you to remember this throughout the season – and in your personal gift giving as well. May the season be an opportunity for making a difference in the lives of those around you – and in your wider communities and world.