An Unconventional Gift Giving Guide
As we are in the midst of mass gift giving this time of year with both Channukah and Christmas upon us, I had originally planned to post a gift giving guide that would provide resources for buying gifts that help lead to a better world; resources that would lead to gifts that were ethically produced both with respect to workers and the planet.But then I was reminded by Bell Hooks of something core to my being, quoting something out of A Raison in the Sun, “Since when did money become life?”And the more I thought about it, I realized maybe what would really be helpful is a reminder of what makes life beautiful.
So, if you haven’t already loaded up on gifts on Cyber Monday (or even if you have), here’s a guide to make this holiday season special:
Friends and Experiences:There’s been a fair amount of research that suggests deep friendships and experiences are what make us happiest. But even without the research, if you look at the happiest moments of your life, most likely they have something to do with interactions with those you love or incredible experiences, and often both.Can you think of something material that has dramatically changed your level of happiness? Sure, there are things that make our lives more comfortable, I’m glad I have a machine that washes my clothes, for example. But the benefit of the machine is that I have more time for friends and experiences!So, go out and throw snowballs with your friends; go to the beach, sing songs together, enjoy nature, or give the gift of spending time with someone you haven’t seen in a while.
Help others be true to themselves: A few years ago, a woman by the name of Bronnie Ware wrote a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. As a nurse working with people on their death bed, Ms. Ware noticed that as people got near the end they became quite clear about their lives and it was easy for them to see how many dreams were left unfulfilled. Most people realized that they had not honored even half of their dreams as a result of choices they had made. The regret was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”A truly memorable gift to others would be to help those you love to realize their dreams.
Slow Down:In the same book, Ms. Ware states that every male she worked with stated “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” Women also spoke of this, but due to the generation of people she worked with, men were mostly the breadwinners. As a result of working too much, they regretted not spending more time with their children and partners. As a father, one decision that lead me to starting Epic Coffee, was the deep desire to enjoy every moment of my son growing up.Life is short, give the gift of working less and spending more quality time with your children and family.
Happy Holidays!I look forward to sharing great coffee with you in the new year!