This time of year can be stressful for any of us. Family gatherings (and oftentimes the drama that goes with it), holiday travel and tight gift-giving budgets can test the most “zen” of us. So from now until the end of the year, I’ll focus on how you can have a brighter, more stress-free (i.e. more enjoyable) holiday season. Let’s start with gift giving.
In many cultures, the season is a time for celebrating, and gift giving is a big part of that celebration. From the eight days of Hanukkah gifts, to exchanging of gifts on the last day of Kwanzaa, to the ever popular Christmas morning gift opening chaos, this time of year can wreak havoc on your budget. That is, of course, unless you lend a little mindfulness to the process.
Let’s take a look at some ideas to foster mindfulness and bring a sense of calm to the folks in your life. Most of these I’ve either used myself, or received rave reviews from someone I know.
Steam Guided Meditation VR – Yes, VR, as in Virtual Reality. My son-in-law gave this thoughtful gift early to my daughter, because of a particularly stressful time. She gave me this review: “As someone who has a seriously hard time shutting down the mind, I tested a beach scene and it had the sound of waves and breeze. So calming.” Pretty good recommendation, I’d say. https://store.steampowered.com/app/397750/Guided_Meditation_VR/
Vorda Handcrafted Wood Diffuser – This is an affordable and beautifully sculpted essential oil diffuser that doesn’t use power or steam to work. I don’t often use my diffuser because the steam can ruin the wood table I want it on. They have three different diffuser designs to choose from and you can purchase your essential oil blend right from their website, including one they call “Zen.” https://byvorda.com/
Tibetan Singing Bowl Set – This is what I use to close my group meditations. It’s a calming sound, and the singing part is fun and can be mastered pretty easily. Use it anytime you want to bring some peace to your day. Widely available online for a reasonable price.
Eclipse Home Décor Candle by the Hour – I saw this an event I was at recently and loved it so much I’m including it here. It’s a beeswax candle (vegans be aware) that is crafted into a long rope. There are different sizes including one that burns for 144 hours. Beeswax means they burn cleanly, smell yummy and they’re refillable so there’s no waste. A treat for your senses. Widely available online for a reasonable price.
Portable Hand Labyrinth – A friend got this for me years ago, and I love it. It’s small and you follow the labyrinth path with your finger or a stick. I’ve used it for an online labyrinth walk and it works great. There are a wide range of materials and sizes available online if you search “hand labyrinth.”
Rasa Coffee Alternative – This is an adaptogenic morning brew that boosts your mood. They have many flavors, and we enjoy Cacao every morning at the Madden house. https://wearerasa.com/ A little hint – I mix it with Teeccino Mocha flavor (https://teeccino.com/products/mocha-herbal-coffee) and brew it in a French press for even better flavor.
Meditation Music – A gift card to your favorite source for music will yield a bounty of soothing music. Soft spa-like music, nature sounds, Native American flute music, all of it can be used during meditation or just when you need to return to the present moment. If you’re an Apple user, iTunes has a plethora available.
Morning Altars: A 7-Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit through Nature, Art and Ritual – I loved this book so much when I first saw it, I’m now enrolled in a year long class, taught by the author, to learn more. Not only is it a beautiful book, the practice is healing. https://www.morningaltars.com/morningaltarsbook
Monthly Membership to Mindful Café – Give the gift of meditation with a membership that includes twice weekly teacher led guided meditation groups. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
Forest Bathing Experience – This unique experience will bring you benefits you never even thought of. As one participant said, “It was truly amazing. Susan guides you through how to experience nature and thus get deeper into yourself. It was a new way to meditate for me. Highly recommend.” https://mindfulcafe.life/forest-bathing-experience/
This is just a sampling of mindful gifts that I hope helps you with your gift-giving planning. And remember, the best gift of all is your time. Spending it with those you care about is a priceless gift to both of you.