It’s that time of year—gift-giving time. How is it that such a generous tradition has become a stressful buying-and-getting event? Amidst the hustle and bustle, we could all use a reminder to stop and breathe. So why not put a little mindfulness in your loved ones’ stockings this year? [Start by tweeting that!] Here are some gift ideas that might plant mindful seeds in your friend’s and family’s lives.
I hear from so many people how a simple gratitude jar has changed the way they see the world. A gratitude jar is a great way to capture the big and small things we are grateful for on a regular basis. All you need is a big jar and small pieces of paper. Include a card with these instructions:
This is your new gratitude jar. Every day, each family member writes down one thing, big or small, that they are grateful for. Then, put the paper into the jar. You can fold it, crumple it, or put it in whole. That’s it! Over time, this simple practice will rewire your brain for happiness. And when times get tough, grab the jar, sit down with your family, pull out a handful or two, and read them off to each other. It will help you reconnect to what’s really important.
Instead of a gratitude jar, a happiness journal is another way to capture the things we’re grateful for everyday. This 5-year happiness journal is perfect for almost anyone on your list. And for the mothers in your life, this one is personalized for them.
Mobile Phone Photobook
We take so many photos on our phones, only for them to fade away into the past while the insurmountable task of organizing, curating, printing and storing them looms overhead. “I really need to print some photos,” we say, as we occasionally scroll through the last few months of our lives. But it never happens.
Artifact Uprising has solved that problem. With their service, you can automatically turn your mobile photos into a cohesive book series. Each time you add 50 images to your chosen photo album, their service will create a new book to add to your collection. Done.
For the organized (or aspiring to be) person in your life, this research-backed productivity planner is simple and effective. Pair it with a set of pens and they’ll be ready to go.
A sparkle jar is a fun way for kids to take a moment to calm down when they need it. By shaking and holding the sparkle jar, they can take a few breaths during the time it takes for the glitter to settle back down to the bottom of the jar, all the while staying in the moment while they watch the glitter move about. A snow globe works the same way. Here is a fun kit for kids to make their own snow globe.
A simple Hoberman sphere works great as a breathing ball. Simple hold the sphere in both hands, expanding it while you inhale and collapsing it while you exhale. It’s a great way to slow your breath while keeping your attention from wandering off. It’s perfect for kids, but adults also find it a useful tool.
This Mindful Games Activity Card Deck includes 50 different mindful activities for kids and teens. The deck takes a playful approach to developing attention and focus, and identifying and regulating emotions.
I Am Yoga Book
This fun book offers “empowering affirmations and playful illustrations to inspire both children and adults to slow down and strike a pose.” It’s a great gift for the young kids in your life.
Mindful Parenting Book
My book, Mindful Parenting, gives you a mindful approach to parenting that helps children (and their parents) feel happier, healthier, calmer and less stressed in our frenetic era. It’s full of tools and information to help you and your family live more mindfully.
These are just a few ideas to inspire your friends and family to live a mindful life. Maybe this list even gave you some ideas of your own.
If you’re looking for something other than things to give this holiday season (especially for those people who seem to have everything or who aren’t really into “gifts”), you could give an experience instead. Our online mindfulness courses might be just the thing to give that person who wants to learn more about mindfulness.
- Our Foundations of Mindful Parenting course kicks off January 8th.
- Our Mindfulness and the Workplace course kicks off in February.
I hope these ideas help ease the stress of holiday gift-giving for you!
and the Mindful Life team