On Gifting and The Minimal Lifestyle5.7.16
Over time, letting go of things we do not need becomes easier; the more we remove clutter and reduce unnecessarily material goods from ou...
Over time, letting go of things we do not need becomes easier; the more we remove clutter and reduce unnecessarily material goods from our lives, the more we realise we are not what we own. However, gifting is a tricky pastime. We’re encouraged to give gifts for all kinds of reasons - birthdays, festive holidays, when someone graduates or gets a new job, on Mother’s and Father’s day, and when friend’s move into new homes or have children. There are endless reasons to feel obliged to shower each other with gifts.
Gifting should be meaningful and heartfelt, not a panicked response to feelings of obligation. Not wanting to give or receive “stuff” does not make you a cheap, ungrateful, heartless person; carefully thought out gifts that are useful or personal are always welcome but no one ever wants to receive more “stuff” to shoved at the back of a cupboard or under the stairs.
When it comes to being the giftee, tell people you are living a more simple, uncluttered lifestyle and would prefer the gifter saved the money for themselves. If someone insists, ask for something that has meaning or is useful; charitable donations, experiences, or something you truly need. Being the gifter and knowing not everyone has the same feelings towards gifting as you do can be a lot trickier to handle, there are social expectations to uphold, at least in their eyes. Again, look towards meaningful gifts, something useful or consumable and always heartfelt. Don’t panic buy or be swayed by holiday sales and marketing ploys.
There is nothing wrong with material goods and nothing bad about gifting, except we are taught to feel obliged and expectant. Gifts should be memorable and sincere, always.
One last note about gifting: don’t feel bad about getting rid of the stuff that’s cluttering up your life. Whether it was a gift or not, pass it onto someone who will use it; donate, sell, recycle. Let go of the things you don’t need or want to make space for what’s important in your life.