“I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”              – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

It’s that time of year when the world falls in love. So why are you feeling so stressed? Gifts. We all love them. However, sometimes the gift giving process can be filled with stress and anxiety instead of joy. Unacceptable! Just like the KonMari practice itself, gifts and the selection process should represent love and appreciation. Any other feelings should be discarded.

“Come, touch my robe, we have much to see!”             – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The Past – let go of guilt
The true purpose of a gift is to be received. Gifts are not just things, but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. Of course, it would be ideal if you could use or love a gift with joy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Take a moment to consider the person who gave the gift to you. Do you think they would want you to use or keep it out of a sense of obligation, only to feel guilty every time you see it? When you discard or donate a gift with a thank you, do so for the sake of the gift giver too.

The Present – only exchange joy
Now that you’ve put your past in order, it’s time to infuse more joy into shopping this season (refer to previous post for more tips on shopping mindfully). Ride the momentum of a positive exchange by selecting gifts that spark joy for the receiver and for you! Marie Kondo emphasizes, “the joy you feel when selecting the gift can be felt by the recipient, so choosing something that sparks joy in you will lead to more meaningful gift giving.” Similar to a utility item that is viewed as functional rather than beautiful, you may not like the object itself. That’s ok because you will appreciate the joy you feel when you watch your loved one open a gift they genuinely want or need. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to treat yourself!

Tempted to regift that solo Christmas candle? Regift only when you are sure it sparks joy for the recipient. If at any time you’ve referred to a potential gift as junk or useless it may not be re-giftable. Avoid giving gifts for the sake of giving a gift. Operate from a place of joy to receive the gift of a positive exchange!

The Future – leave a legacy
Good news…if you’ve followed the suggestions above, managing gifts from Christmas past and present, you’ve already changed your future – the gifter you’re becoming. You will be more conscious and thoughtful when gifting for years to come and your family and friends will notice. Another bonus – the more you hone your skills, the less time you will spend finding a place for, repairing, or joy checking items coming into your home in the future. Naturally, some of the most joyful gifts have a shelf-life and become history. However, because you’ve let go of guilt and only exchanged joy, when the items are discarded with gratitude, positive energy will return in abundance!

Wishing everyone a season of comfort and joy! Subscribe here to receive more tidy tips for your home, mind, and life.

Kristyn Ivey

Kristyn Ivey

For the Love of Tidy founder Kristyn Ivey is Chicago's first certified KonMari Tidying Consult.
Kristyn Ivey