Finding the Balance in Gift Giving

December 5, 2012

in the generous life

I’m stealing this post from my sweetie because he said it so well!

I’ve been expecting someone to call me on the apparent hypocrisy of saying “buy less this holiday season” while publishing a “gifts for her” page with links.

To me this is about balance and “all things in moderation”. It is also about knowing what you need. Lori and I do not lack for material things in the least – we don’t need or want much at this point in our lives. In part this is because we are thinking more and more towards minimalism (or hereor here) – not full on, but leaning that way because we see the wisdom of simplicity and of putting our time and money into people more than things.

This in no way means we are opposed to things. We recently bought a violin (albeit a Craigslist deal purchased with money from selling something else). We especially like giving things to others (we’ve been known to anonymously pay for a meal for strangers at a restaurant or give a couple gift certificates for a night out). 

My thoughts on gifts in a nut shell:

♥ Think them through.
♥ Give only things that are needed or will be appreciated.
♥ Do your best to save money when you buy (so you can give to more people!).
♥ Sometimes give anonymously – especially if you give to someone who can’t give in return.
♥ Be a good receiver – show gratitude and appreciation as if it’s the perfect gift.
♥ Do NOT go into debt to give!

In short – give, but do it with thought and prayer.

I would add that gifts that can be used up (like cookies or items that the receiver tends to use up or lose often) or gifts that offer an experience (like tickets to a concert or signing up for a class) are truly great. They don’t take up space on a shelf and they tend to be more thoughtful.

Image credit @ Liv Friis-larsen |


Gifts for Him Here’s a list to get you thinking.


Power of Two: Help a Friend Escape Domestic Violence Become educated. (For immediate help: hotline: 1-800-799-7233)



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