Mindful and Merry Holidays
Ah, the holiday shopping season. It's easy to tire of the endless crowds, commercials, and catalogs. This time of year, though, offers us a great opportunity to shop mindfully.
The idea of socially-conscious consumption can seem overwhelming at first, especially if you're trying to reform all of your buying habits overnight. I often find it easier to tackle this kind of change in small pieces. I love to give presents, so this is one area in which I try to improve every year. I enjoy the added challenge.
Make it your goal to be mindful when you buy gifts, whether all of them or just one person's. Here are some ideas for changing the holiday consumption tradition:
- Shop at local, small, or independent businesses.
- Seek out organic and fair trade food, beverage, and clothing.
- Look for recyclable packaging and gift wrapping. Save ribbons and gift bags to use again.
- Give secondhand or repurposed gifts.
- Make homemade gifts.
- Give experiences, such as a dinner or event tickets, rather than stuff.
- Make a charitable donation in the recipient's name.
- Rather than large gift exchanges with families or co-workers, have everyone buy for one other person or do a white-elephant exchange.
- Hosting a party? Try to buy local food and beverages (if you haven't tried some Minnesota beers you're definitely missing out).
These goals don't have to be as difficult or expensive as you think. You might actually cut costs by simplifying your gifts. You might discover a great new shop right down the street. You might find joy in giving really special, thoughtful presents. Your holidays might be more focused on family, friends, and community. In the end, isn't that what we all want to get this year?
For a list of made-in-Minnesota products and sustainable gift options, check out the Minnesota 2020 gift guide.