The Secret to Happy Holidays

holidays kindness joy cheer

It’s time to rethink our approach to shopping and gift-giving this holiday season. We can make this holiday season less about material things and more about the true spirit of giving. Giving love, kindness, compassion, and friendship.

We have all been sucked into the materialistic buying frenzy that companies are actively pushing, especially during the holidays. It’s time we push back. I’m not suggesting you don’t ever buy gifts, what I’d like to suggest is we start to spend with more thought.  

There are so many great gift ideas that cost zero to just a few dollars. Give handwritten IOU’s for hugs, foot massages, homemade anything, share a skill you have such as knitting, cooking, computer expertise, teaching yoga, etc. Make this holiday more about experiences than things. Take someone to a show, an adventure park, a hike, or give a facial or manicure. Be creative, put together a gift box, maybe a variety of chocolates, bath salts, lotions, or other treats. Better yet, make this a fun, shared experience and get together with friends, share some wine, and make gifts for each of you to give (cookies, fudge, candles, coasters, whatever). Need more ideas, try googling the best DIY gift ideas. 

We should also consider giving gently used items, which would save money and help save our planet. You can find plenty of treasures in thrift stores, yard sales, Buy Nothing groups, and even in your own home.

There’s so much stuff already in the world, we don’t need to add more junk that will end up in landfills. Imagine the impact we could have on this planet if everyone committed to regift, thrift, or shop small. Even though these items aren’t brand new, it’s new to the person you give them to.

Ask yourself this question before you make a purchase, “Do I really need to spend money on this person to show them how much I care about them?”  There is so much pressure for people to spend money and buy gifts for friends and family and we feel guilty and cheap if we don’t.  We get stressed over who to buy gifts for, worrying about forgetting someone, worrying about how much to spend and what gift to buy, and of course, worrying about spending money we can’t afford just to please others.  Don’t buy into it!  

The truth is we show our love by giving our time and care, not by buying material goods. So, opt-out of the consumerization of the holidays.  

Take a step back from all the stress. Recognize that all the holiday marketing benefits the manufacturers, stores, and huge corporations while driving you into debt. You know this annual consumer frenzy wreaks havoc on the environment, filling landfills with useless packaging and discarded gifts.

This is the year to be more thoughtful about your gift-giving. Give the gift that all of us actually need the most, love, friendship, and family.


Is there someone who inspires you with their kindness?  Nominate them for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250.

Do you have an act-of-kindness project you want to do but need help funding it?  Submit your idea for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $500 and let us help you spread kindness.

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