When it comes to shopping of any kind, it’s safe to say that it’s a love/hate relationship. Here at Bryony & Birch, we’re pretty much all on the same page about this: we love meaningful gift giving and spending our money with brands where it counts, but we can’t help but feel the consumer-culture pressure of “more is more” because we know the truth: more is more… anxiety. So this year, our gift giving is all about intention: less gifts, more quality and at every budget level. Below is our guide to designing a mindful holiday shopping action plan.
Step 1: Make your list
Where are my Google Sheets ladies at? In our house, spreadsheets aren’t just for work stuff. I use one to map out exactly who I need to buy gifts for and ideas for what to give them. Keeping this info listed out all in one place keeps me in-check and organized, so I don’t accidentally over-buy or forget anyone.
Step 2: Jot down gift ideas for each person
Once I know who I’m shopping for, then I also list out how many gifts I need to give to each person. For example: in my immediate family, we give two gifts + a stocking to each person. For my extended family, we do one family gift. Once I have that mapped out, then I start listing out ideas for each gift. Planning out these gift ideas ahead of time, allows me to meaningfully source the gift, create it or to wait for a sale to strike.
Step 3: Sourcing your gifts
Buying on a budget
Making your list ahead of time allows you to keep an eye out for sales, which as we know – are rampant this time of year.
Not all gifts need to be brand new. You can get a really nice pre-worn Everlane sweater on Poshmark for half the price of new and in excellent condition, and a brand new (but owned by someone else) fire truck toy on the used marketplace, Kidizen. And if your loved one loves tea sets, you could find a really unique vintage one at a local thrift shop. Pair it with a new box of tea and you have yourself a very thoughtful gift set.
Making your list ahead of time allows you to research which ethically-minded brands to buy from. Our hot tip is to visit ethical & sustainable product marketplaces, so you can shop multiple brands at once.
Sometimes the best gifts are tickets to a comedy show or a gift certificate to a nice restaurant or spa in town. What makes them so special is that they’re treats. And ones that someone may not necessarily buy themselves.
Not buying at all
My local friends and I exchange gifts every year, and ya know what? We don’t spend a dime. I’ve received DIY’d cocktail kits, jars of cookies, homemade dog biscuits and special handmade knit items. I love all of them because they’re a. DELICIOUS and b. from the heart. The best kind!
Step 4: Planning your gift wrapping
Aside from the gifts themselves, you’ll also want to plan a way to mindfully gift wrap your items. Sure, you could go to Target and pick up a bunch of new wrapping paper (no judgment – it’s too easy), but one thing I’ve started doing is buying my gift wrapping at my local thrift shop. Next time you check out your local thrift shop, look out for gift tags, wrapping paper, bags, tissue paper and unique containers that can all be used for your gift giving needs.
Intentional gift giving goes a long way
Taking a few extra steps to make your gift giving organized and thoughtful will go a long way in making you feel happy, relaxed and even excited about your holiday gift giving. It goes without saying that our favorite form of holiday shopping is buying local and we encourage you to check out our Holiday Event Round-Up to check out some opportunities to buy local and have fun while doing it!
Do your holiday shopping at Bryony & Birch
Come say hello and stay for some holiday shopping in store at Bryony & Birch in downtown Amesbury. We have a variety of wellness and self-care gifts (perfect for stocking stuffers), as well as a vintage rack filled with interesting pre-loved pieces! We’re always happy to make a recommendation and even point you in the direction of some of our favorite local business owners, who may have what you’re looking for.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy (and calm) holiday season from all of us here at Bryony & Birch and Bryony Body!