The Best Gift to Give This Holiday Season Is a Meaningful One

Make the holidays matter with Interac Debit.

As the holiday season draws closer, calendars fill up with company parties, gift exchanges and family functions—and no festivities are complete without the perfect presents. You may even feel a little bit like Santa, checking wish lists, scouring stores and giving your Interac® debit card a workout to make sure everyone special in your life is accounted for: a pair of leather gloves for mom, warm socks for dad, an eyeshadow palette for Jennifer, a smart home device for Tom.

But something feels different this year. It’s as if the tides of public sentiment have turned, encouraging us to become more comfortable with what we already have. Perhaps it’s the growing popularity of minimalist living, but there seems to be a breeze whispering “make it matter” in everyone’s ear this season. The excitement of tearing into wrapping paper cannot be understated and the joy of discovering what’s inside can increase tenfold when that gift comes from a thoughtful, sentimental place. It’s becoming more important than ever to consider the impact a gift will have, both on the person receiving it and on the planet. Why not make the added effort to ensure every gift you give this season is as thoughtful as possible?

Before you head out shopping, take the time to think about how a gift will be used: will it be opened with delight and used frequently until it wears out, or is it more likely to be opened to a luke-warm reaction before being forgotten in a drawer somewhere? The former is the ideal situation, the gift taking on a life of its own after purchase. But sadly, the latter is what happens to many material gifts.

Think about the best gift you’ve ever received. Chances are it was sentimental, deeply personal or an unexpected surprise—almost like the gift-giver was anticipating your needs or desires. Or it might have been a highly practical item on your wish-list that you knew you would get plenty of use out of. To make sure every gift gets the reception it deserves, incorporate mindfulness into your gift-giving practice by bringing your attention to the current moment and evaluating your thought patterns before taking action. Think of it as the opposite of impulse shopping. Making thoughtful decisions while out shopping can help ensure a gift will be treasured for years to come.

The most meaningful gifts are ones that create a special connection between the gift-giver and recipient. This season, consider a manicure, a cooking class, a massage, a photography portrait session, a trip to a cat café or simply a long-awaited coffee date that gives you both ample time to catch up on each other’s lives.

While decorative gifts are sweet, we should be mindful of each person’s needs. Does Aunt Karen need a new set of wine charms? Does Uncle Kevin really need a new hunting knife when the one he’s kept in his back pocket since 1986 is still his favourite? The gifts we give should have a net positive impact, so it’s important to think of the ways in which a gift will fit into the recipient’s life.

Take a moment this year to consider what sort of things the person you’re buying for might truly care for. It could be a plant or even a nice bottle of whiskey. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive or flashy to be treasured, it simply has to come from the heart.

This holiday season, it’s the small gestures that matter. And for what you choose, use Interac® Debit.

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