The science is clear, giving gifts to others makes us happy. When we give, our brain releases endorphins and dopamine (feel good chemicals). When an occasion to give to someone I love rolls around, I feel like there is magic in the air (or maybe it’s just the happiness from all the giving going on!). I strive to give gifts that make people’s heart sing, that are good for them, and good for the world we live in. It’s a tall order, so I created a nifty checklist to help.
1. Is it thoughtful? I always tailor my gift based on who is receiving it. I think back to previous conversations or experiences to get ideas of what they want or a future need. Some things, like gift boxes, I can customize just for that person to include their favorite scents or products.
2. Does it encourage healthy habits? I want everyone in my life to be the best version of themselves. I have an opportunity to encourage and support my loved ones to take better care of themselves.
3. Is it sustainably sourced? Made in the USA? Where things come from matters to me. I have the opportunity to make sure each ingredient comes from companies that are socially, ethically, and environmentally sound each time I make a purchase.
4. Is it free from nonsense? I like my products like I like my people, non-toxic. To me that means making sure things are free from paraben, dyes, artificial scents or “fragrance”. I would never want to give someone a product I wouldn’t use myself.
5. Is it from a Woman owned business? A small business? I want my girls growing up to see strong women who show them they can run a business, be what they want when they grow up, and have a family (if they want one!).
6. Is it from a company that’s socially and ethically responsible? I support businesses who pay their employees a living wage, treat them well, and uphold my values of equality and justice.
7. Is the packaging environmentally friendly? Gift giving can leave us with a lot of unwanted waste. I search for things that are packaged in glass or post consumer recycled plastics, and try to make sure the outside packaging is both post consumer recycled and recyclable itself.
8. Is it tested on animals? I have the opportunity to “vote with my dollar” if you will, and only buy from companies who treat animals with kindness and compassion.
9. Is it affordable? As a mom, my budget is always on my mind. I spend differently based on each person, so it’s important to me to have meaningful gifts at each price point.
10. Most importantly, is it fun? Will it bring long-term joy? I think about the smiles to come, not just while someone is opening a box or bag. Whether we are giving or receiving, we could all have a little more happiness in our life!
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