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How to Give Meaningful Holiday Gifts: Helpful Ideas from a Plant & Energy-worker


 

As an herbalist, energy worker, and small business owner, I see gift-giving as a powerful opportunity to practice energetic alignment. My work largely aims at helping you connect with your most authentic self and with the natural world around you.




But what does gift-giving have to do with any of this? Well, I know that this is something that’s on your mind this time of year. All of us undeniably exist in a consumer culture which pressures us to give something–anything–to the people we love during the holiday season.



I invite you to reflect on this. This blog will first explore ways to tune in with your intuition, in order to share mindful gifts.



Then, I will offer a few mindful holiday ideas……to help you go from picking up any old thing, to feeling empowered in supporting businesses that align with your values.



 

Aligning gifts with Intuition


Okay, so you’re looking for a gift for someone……but have you stopped to ask yourself why you want to give them a gift? Ask yourself, “Am I looking for a gift because I feel pressure to do so?”



Here’s some other questions about holiday gifts to get curious about:


  • What are you trying to tell the person you’re giving this gift to?


  • What does this person actually need–if anything?


  • How can you show them your love through the act of gift-giving?



Let’s be clear…..this isn’t me saying DON’T BUY GIFTS. This is me inviting you to slow down and tune in. Consumer culture wants you to believe that you must ALWAYS be in the spirit of giving. Especially during the 4th quarter…..a time when many businesses rely on revved up holiday spending.



In my experience, the most fulfilling gifts I have ever given often did not adhere to capitalist timelines. These gifts were given during times when my spirit felt called to give. Times when I had a beautiful vision of something special to share with just the right person.



Here’s an example from my life: there was a time when a dear family friend was going through a divorce. I wanted this person to know that I saw so much strength in their difficult decision to move on. It had been a while since I’d connected with this friend, but something inside me urged me to take time, and write a meaningful letter.



I did just that. I took time to sit with every word. I lovingly addressed the envelope and drew designs/art on it so that the letter would be extra special.




This wasn’t anything fancy. It wasn’t anything expensive. But it was one of the most touching gifts I have ever given. My dear friend felt so loved and held by my words. And that is exactly what was needed during such a challenging time.





Nothing is more useless than an unwanted gift. In that same situation, I could have gotten a scented candle, or any old item from a big box store. But what if that friend hated the scent I picked out? What if that friend simply never used candles?



Now, I’m not saying that candles are a shitty gift. I’m saying that it makes a big difference when you actually take the time to figure out what the person you’re buying a gift for needs (or will really appreciate).



Okay, I know you’re starting to think….. “Uhhhhh, what if I don’t really know the person I’m buying a gift for? What if I just wanted to do something nice?”



You’re right to wonder this. Sometimes unexpected gifts are the most heart-warming. This is where it becomes important to make sure you are in touch with your values.



Getting something small for a person you don’t know all that well can be energetically aligned when you are supporting small businesses that you believe in.



It’s a win-win-win, in my eyes. You get to support a business that’s doing good while inviting a little joy into your life, and the life of whoever receives your gift.




Remember, a small purchase from a small business can make a big impact. If you aren’t making the biggest difference for the person who gets the gift, you can be certain that you’re making an impact on the person you’re buying from.





And finally, it’s time to touch base on intuition. Maybe the gift you’re looking for still doesn’t feel aligned. You can’t think of what this person would want or need, and you can’t find something small and meaningful from a business you really want to support.



What then? You may not like what I have to say here…..but I’m gonna say it anyway. Maybe you don’t need to buy a gift. Maybe you could make something small. Maybe you could write a meaningful letter like I did in the case of my friend going through big changes.



I can’t tell you exactly what to do here, but I will urge you to follow your intuition. If nothing is coming to you, if nothing is exciting you, maybe you shouldn’t force yourself into buying a gift.



Maybe you can lean into untraditional ways to show your love. Or maybe you can finally admit to yourself that you were just getting a gift to give a gift. There was little energetic intention behind it, and you can wait for a time when inspiration strikes.



Maybe you disagree, but my opinion is that there’s nothing more spiritually depleting than buying a gift that just doesn’t feel right.



So, here are a few ideas to help you on your gift-giving journey. Keep reading for specific ideas and a thoughtful DIY tea recipe.


 

Sustainable Holiday Ideas


Keep the spirit of giving alive by honoring your needs, and the needs of the person you’re buying for. And yes, I put your needs first on purpose. Be real with yourself: Do I have the money to give gifts right now? If the answer is no, then there’s no way your gifts can be sustainable (even if they are eco-friendly).



Considering your own needs is part of the sustainability equation that is often overlooked. If you aren’t honoring your own needs, then how can you expect gift-giving to truly feel good?



Alright, I’ll step off of my soap box and move onto giving you ideas for meaningful, energetically aligned gifts.



All of these ideas have sustainability in mind, because, well……I know it’s important to you.



DIY Holiday Gifts


One of the most meaningful ways to give a gift is to make something yourself. I’ve knitted, crocheted, and sewed many gifts……it’s always been a rewarding process. Fiber arts are also a great way to upcycle materials like scrap fabric, old clothing, or yarn remnants.




Of course, these types of projects can come with a few barriers: access to materials, time, and knowledge. So this is why I want to focus a little more on a simple herbal DIY project.




Materials can always be a barrier for any type of DIY project, and I recognize that not everyone has access to herbs locally.



For those in Missoula, MT….. I’m sure you know about local options like Meadowsweet Herbs or



Butterfly Herbs. These are both lovely ways to support small businesses while getting your hands on herbs.



If you live in a different part of the world, you may not have these kinds of options. That’s okay. You can still order from earth-conscious companies like Pacific Botanicals & Mountain Rose Herbs.



No company is perfect, but I really appreciate how these two dedicate themselves to issues of sustainability and social-justice. I have seen Mountain Rose make mistakes, and I have also seen them own up to mistakes and make the necessary changes. These are the types of companies that I feel good about supporting. I imagine that you feel similarly.



There’s always an option to reach out to local farmers and herb growers. This would be ideal, but again…..it’s not always possible.




My favorite herbal gift–which requires minimal tools/supplies– is herbal tea. Most people thoroughly enjoy tea, and knowing that it was handmade is even better. Tea is more than just an item, it’s an experience.



Holding the warm cup in your hands and pressing it against your cheek. Hovering your nose above the billow of gentle steam and letting the aroma of drinkable plants melt away your stress. These are just a few things that you can experience with a cup of tea.



Receiving this sort of gift is such a delight. So, I’m adding in a recipe so you can easily create and gift a seasonal tea blend to loved ones.




DIY HOLIDAY TEA BLEND RECIPE


  • 3 parts cacao nibs

  • 2 parts catnip

  • 2 parts cinnamon bark

  • 1 parts whole cloves

  • 1 part peppermint leaf

  • ½ part lavender buds



HOW TO MAKE


It’s pretty simple……


  1. measure out the ingredients

  2. Add them into a spacious mixing bowl

  3. Mix until herbs are evenly dispersed

  4. Enjoy!



You can make the batch as big, or as small as you want…….measuring the “parts” in cups, teaspoons, or grams. Whatever materials you have access to will work!



Package the tea blend in the small 4oz jelly jars that are often used in canning. I like this packaging because it is reusable, beautiful, and can be easily found in most hardware or craft stores.


To save on cost……you could always buy fill-your-own tea bags to cut down on the amount you give to each individual.



ex: fill three tea bags, and package them up as a gift.



You could also leave out the cacao nibs and replace it for a rich, but less expensive herb like tulsi (also known as holy basil).



You can make your own labels, or you can download the ones I already created. Make sure to print double sided! Click to download below......


CBBgiftTeaLabels
.pdf
Download PDF • 416KB


HOW TO USE



Use a loose-leaf tea steeper to steep 1 heaping tsp of the tea blend for every 8oz of hot water.

Steep for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!




Making your own gifts creates the best energy. Think of all of the love that you infuse into your gifts as you make them. There truly is nothing more special


 

Support Small Businesses



Maybe you don’t have the time to create your own holiday gifts–that’s okay! Supporting small businesses that create with just as much love and intention can be equally meaningful. Plus, it helps uplift your local economy.



In my experience, when makers have enough money……they tend to pour it into other makers. So when you support small businesses, you create a ripple effect in your community. Imagine all of the people that are able to align their purchases with their values of integrity and sustainability when you decide to do it, too.




Of course……..here is where I have to take the opportunity to plug my products and services. Go check them out if you’re looking to gift hand-crafted, natural self-care products, or set up a loved one with a personalized Reiki healing session.





 

Gifts that Keep Giving


This category is a little more personal, but being in the business of deep healing……I couldn’t help but add it in. Feel free to ditch out at this point. If you or your loved ones aren’t into transformative healing and accessing a deep understanding of self, the next bit is NOT for you.



Sometimes, investing in workshops, books, and other tools to help your loved ones dive deeper into themselves is an incredible gift. There’s nothing like growing alongside one another, or taking part in facilitating growth for others.



Obviously these kinds of gifts can be a little tricky. You want to make sure you know the person well. Having confidence that they will be enthusiastic about such a gift is an essential here.



In these cases, I never want a dear one to feel trapped. Sometimes I will make my own “gift certificate” stating what I want to buy for the person. This is a fun way to incorporate a little DIY love into the gift, and it gives you an opportunity to check in.



When you exchange the gift, you could let the person know that it can easily be exchanged for something else—since the purchase has yet to be made.



Again, this would still only be good for someone that could easily express their boundaries around receiving such a gift.



EXAMPLES:



  • An energy-work class like Reiki ( a great local option for those in Missoula, MT is Inner Peace Reiki )



Learning Reiki is a simple, yet profound tool for gaining access to your intuitive powers. This type of learning experience is a great gift for curious folks who are excited to deepen their path of learning, growing, and healing.







  • The 2024 Guidebook from Chani Nicholas


This one’s for the astrology lovers! I am a big fan of getting to know myself deeper, and to feel more seen. I have a feeling that you and your loved ones might be into that, too. I absolutely love Chani and the way her team approaches astrology. She makes the information accessible, and also approachable.



Astrology can be intimidating because sometimes you discover challenging things about your path, but Chani is so good at reminding you that nothing is

permanent, and nothing can take away your personal power. She presents information in a way that helps you understand yourself with more compassion.



Chani is a queer, woman-owned business that I feel really happy to support. The guidebook is a digital product that is personalized to the person’s rising sign. It offers guidance on themes and astrological events for 2024 that is unique to the individual.



I think this is a really fun, and thoughtful gift that will help set up your loved ones for success in the new year. Plus, you can use this affiliate link to purchase the product and support my small business……all at once!


 

I hope these ponderings and gift ideas help guide you in giving from the heart this holiday season. Gifts that feel good for you, and for your loved ones create a chain of love and positive vibration that impact your community in beautiful ways.



I hope you leave this reading with more clarity. No more wondering “should I get my co-workers a gift?” this holiday season, or “what gift should I give to someone who has it all?”



Use my reflections and simple gift ideas to guide you in intentional giving, and allow yourself to feel your energy balance through the process.




With love & care,


Bonita

Owner & Operator, Cositas Bonitas Botanicals


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