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Let Your Gifts Create Joy Not Stress

Help yourself enjoy gift giving this holiday season.

There are always certain feelings associated with gift giving. In fact, dopamine levels in our brain increase as we experience a mix of joy and generosity. Yet, during the holiday season, finding the perfect gift for everyone can be an annual stress.

I usually purchase gifts throughout the entire year, picking up things here and there that remind me of different people and then I store them in a closet. When the holiday’s come around I have fun opening the closet and rediscovering all the gifts (many that I had forgotten about} for me to wrap!! This really puts me in the holiday spirit! Here are five ways to help you enjoy gift giving this holiday season.

1. Be transparent about budgets

Think about how much money you have to spend on the entirety of your holiday shopping and budget it accordingly. Being open and realistic about your financial restraints is key to not falling victim to any signs of resentment after your exchange.

2. Communicate with your loved ones

It is important to talk with your loved ones and ask for a list within that set budget. This will also let you narrow down your ideas and walk away feeling less financially stressed.

3. Don’t internalize reactions from others

At the end of the holidays, keep in mind that it is the thought that counts and gifts are simply objects. Don’t expect people to appreciate a gift in the way you expected them to. There is always a possibility that you might be disappointed.

4. Buy a gift that makes you happy to give it

Just like your finances, keep your expectations realistic. Don’t waste time pining over whether or not that special someone is going to like it. You can not control others’ reactions.

5. You can’t read minds and neither can others

Giving gifts should be as exciting as getting a gift. Nothing can replace the feeling of excitement of tearing through wrapping paper and opening up something that is just for you. Yet, not all gifts are going to be at the top of your wish list. Avoid disappointment by being direct with what you want. Don’t be afraid to make your wishes known. After receiving gifts, be sure to just say thank you.

At the end of the holiday season, always keep in mind what is most important to you. Hold your values close and enjoy the merriment that this season has to offer. Don’t get too caught up with the remainder of your shopping list and last-minute gift buying but instead focus on being with your loved ones and taking time to realize the joy that the holidays can bring.

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