“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” –Mother Teresa 

The act of giving presents serves so many different purposes. Presents delight and surprise. They communicate feelings of warmth and love. They can brighten someone’s day and fulfill a genuine desire. There’s something in it for us too: being altruistic fills us with undeniable joy.

But like anything else, giving is something we can easily become passive or frenzied about. If we’re idly shopping during the holidays or scrambling for someone’s birthday, we lose touch with the how and why of giving. We forget that giving is intended to be done with all our heart and spirit.

Mindful giving means slowing down and getting back in touch with the generous parts of ourselves. Check out the following tips for being a more mindful gift-giver, no matter the occasion.

Consider the Recipient

Most of us put at least a little thought into the person we’re finding a gift for. But mindful giving means going a bit further, considering values, passions, and needs. What could really make a difference to someone? Remember, not all gifts are tangible or store-bought. If a relative could use help with chores, offer to spend Saturday cleaning their house. If your friend is going through a rough time, treat them to a cozy night in and make sure to be fully present for the time you spend together.   

Shop Mindfully

When shopping, it’s easy to get caught up in a crazed mindset and fill our cart with lots of stuff. But mindful shopping means avoiding the temptation to max out your credit card with glitzy products. When shopping, ask whether the pieces you pick come from the heart or if you’re merely swayed by fancy packaging and discounted prices. 

Offer Gifts With Intention

Offering gifts with intention means immersing yourself in the actual act of giving. Depending on how you express yourself, this can mean wrapping parcels with love and care, finding a special moment to present your gift, or including a personalized note. Such gestures help you truly savor the moment and feel closer to the recipient.     

Don’t Stress Too Much

It may seem near-impossible to shop mindfully for each and every person in your life. And that’s okay. Mindful giving means being honest when we’re not sure about what to give and doing our best to be generous anyway.

Extend Mindful Giving To All Year Round

There are certain times of the year when we’re more conscious of giving such as holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays. But there’s no reason to limit generosity to specific seasons or dates. Learn to cultivate a generous spirit all year round. You may even find there’s more delight in giving “just because” rather than when its expected. 

Mindful giving is all about gesture and intent. With a little more mindfulness, not only will you draw more joy from the act of giving, the recipient will appreciate it too!