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Conscious Holiday Living: The Art of Re-Gifting

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Part 4: From Here to There by Pati Hope

Last week, we discovered that there are many different ways to show our love and appreciation for others and although gifts are just one, in our society of consumerism, marketers would have us think that buying and getting more stuff is the road to happiness. As we continue our quest to live mindfully during the holidays, it’s imperative that we take time to know what we want from this holiday season. Otherwise we can become scattered, simply saying yes to things just because we do.

One core reason that there is unhappiness or discontentment during the holidays is because our own personal expectations are not being realized. Sometimes that has very little to do with us. We have a picture in our heads and hearts of a time when the holidays were special and we try to recreate whatever those memories are that are holding us hostage. As we move towards conscious living, we take the opportunity to pause, once again, consciously deciding how and with whom we will spend our precious time… guilt free! Perhaps last week’s article on love languages helped to shed a little light on what your holiday expectations are.

There are many things one can do to show love even if their love language isn’t gifts. For instance, one could make a coupon book with perhaps 12 coupons, one for each month, filled with promises of spending time or doing acts of kindness. The gift here is to really think about what would make the other person smile or feel loved and offer those things. They could be something specific to each month. So for instance in July you could promise a drive and picnic or trip to the beach.

Today, I’d like to be an advocate for another option for living mindfully and that is the Art of Re-gifting. I know it has gotten a bum wrap over the years. Even the sit-com, Seinfeld did an entire show on how bad re-gifting is! People think it’s an easy way to clean out the closet or to get rid of the stuff we don’t want any longer. While if not done properly, it can be all of that. But I refer to it as an art because it is a skill, something to learn. You have to really think about the other person and consciously decide to re-gift something that they would really appreciate and bring them joy.

However, for people who are trying to live consciously, it could be a good option because we’re not purchasing, adding to the landfills and supporting cheap labor.

I’ve always been an advocate for re-gifting. I don’t think it’s weird or cheap. I had to laugh when my new daughter-in-law related a story to me. Someone at her job had given her flowers and she in turn took them to her sick grandmother in the hospital. She turned to my son and said, “I must truly be a ‘Hobbs’… I just re-gifted!”

While some may see it as tacky, what I see is that my sweet daughter-in-law really enjoyed the gift and wanted to brighten her grandmother’s day. Who cares where the flowers came from or who paid for them; after all, we’re all one, right?

My re-gifting is sort of a running joke in my family, as my adult children all wonder who will end up with the gift they have given to me. I don’t re-gift to be rude or ungrateful, but I don’t like accumulating stuff. (Now days, I just opt-out of gift giving, I just tell everyone up front.) I explained to them that their gift gets a lot of extra miles when they are given to me. It brings me great pleasure to have been thought of and gave me a gift, and I don’t want to make light of their thoughtfulness and generosity. However, if at some point in time someone admires it or I think of someone who I think would get as much pleasure as I did from it, I may give it to them, thus continuing the circle of love while keeping the energy flowing.

As a Personal Transition Specialist, I’ve been a number of elderly people at the end of their life on this earth and what I can tell you is this; Nothing is going with you – nothing, no matter how special or precious or sentimental it is to you – it all stays behind. Hearses don’t have luggage racks!

So why not pass along things to others during our lives, when we can be a part of their joy, and we can have conversations and get to know each other on a deeper level?

Now, may I suggest the next time you’re the lucky recipient of a re-gifting, instead of thinking of it in a negative way, you simply remember how you have been doubly blessed, thought about and how much you are loved.

Oh, and yes, about those re-gifts that haven’t been given with the art of re-gifting in mind, Ya just gotta laugh and laugh from the belly! And then… there’s the gift!

(Last post in this series will be next week and we’ll talk about setting boundaries and living beyond obligation.)

You Also Need to Read the following from Pati Hope: From Here to There Part 2: Conscious Holiday Traditions

A Path to Mindful Living

Pati Hope – Author, Founder & Executive Director of Evolve to Live

As the founder of Evolve to Live, a Nonprofit 501 (c)(3) Educational Outreach organization, Pati is fulfilling a long time dream. By creating this organization, she is bringing her extensive life experiences, skills as an author (three books and counting), inspirational speaker, transitional coach, energy healer and adventurer under one roof to benefit her clients and community. She is passionate about providing workshops, educational outreach, sessions and speaking to groups both large and small to share her insights and experiences.  Pati embodies the mission of Evolve to Live, which is to “Embrace Change and to live life with renewed passion and joy!”

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