• Dharma Nemani

Mindful holiday magic


If you know me, you know I’m a little mental when it comes to clutter. I regularly purge clothes, shoes, toys and things around the house. Then last month, Mishka’s school sent home a mailer saying they were putting together holiday care packages for families in need and requested contributions. I took Mishka with me to Target and she proudly gathered toothbrushes, bars of soap and other items on the list for school. Seeing her beam with pride reminded me that you feel magical inside when you’re giving, more so than when you’re receiving.


I’ve also decided to cut back on presents Christmas morning and include some fun experiences. For e.g., Mishka is obsessed with Frozen so we’re planning to get her dressed in her Elsa gear, and surprise her with a drive to the nearby snow-capped Mount Wilson, so she can play in the snow while belting “Let it go!” (Dear Chicago readers, please don’t be too disgusted at the notion of driving to see snow for pleasure.) I’m also looking into subscription boxes like Craft & Boogie because at the end of the day, Mishka just wants a surprise-something she can rip into. Getting one a month that she can actually engage with and learn from? Win-win!


I reached out to some of you guys for your ideas and thoughts around more mindful gift-giving and received wonderful feedback:


“I try to push giving as the most meaningful part of Christmas, so I have the kids use [some money] in their piggy-banks to buy presents for everyone...I let them be part of choosing the gifts to give….” - Love, Mishka reader, Seattle

"One of the best mindful gifts my kids have received over the years is a subscription to High Five/Highlights magazine. It's always exciting to receive something in the mail and it provides hours of entertainment - reading, puzzles, recipes. (And once we're done, we can use the pages for art projects or recycle it!).” - Love, Mishka reader, Chicago

“We have the kids write a list of about five or so gifts and let family members gift one gift each from the list.” - Love, Mishka reader, Houston

“I’m really trying to change the expectations for the kids, that Christmas is not just about gift giving, but celebrating with family and helping other families in need also be able to celebrate. So this year, we are doing adopt a family and shopping as a family for another family.” - Love, Mishka reader, Houston

“We’ll probably do something special for them but not adding anything to a list. At this age, they haven’t really started asking us why not, etc...they seem quite content either way.” - Love, Mishka reader, San Francisco

“I haven't had this problem yet since our son is still young and basically wants a cardboard box!” - Love, Mishka reader, San Francisco


Do you have any thoughts / ideas around more mindful gift-giving this year? Hit a sister up!

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