Navigating Gift Giving

Nicola Turner Behaviour Changer

One Christmas, I was given three picnic sets from three different people. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good picnic, but there are only so many hampers and plastic plates one person can use.


When you really strip it back, giving gifts is all about showing love, appreciation and gratitude. It’s a beautiful act of human connection. However, often the realities of gift and how we give can somewhat drift from the original intention. Whether it’s Christmas, birthdays or any other celebration, it’s easy for gift giving to become expensive, overwhelming and a burden on the planet.


Photography by: Tori Veysey


Navigating and simplifying the way I give and receive gifts hasn’t meant going without or being a grinch, it has just involved taking some time to gain some perspective and be more conscious of my approach. Here are some of my top tips:

  • Two sides: Every gift involves two sides – both giving and receiving. Recognising this and accepting that we’re all different can make it a lot easier to come up with gift-giving solutions that make everyone happy. Personally, I’m not big on physical gifts and would much prefer that somebody took me out to do something fun instead. Others in my family love giving and receiving gifts, so we come up with different ways to honour that in a way that works for everyone.
  • The power of conversation: Most people I talk with are very happy to simplify the amount of gifts that they’re buying – it saves time, it saves money, it saves pressure, it saves impact. It’s not about cancelling the fun, but about being conscious of how we’re giving instead of it just getting away on us. So often, an upfront conversation can be a game changer that simplifies gift giving for everyone.
  • Love and gratitude: I’ve found that reconnecting with the true purpose of gift giving can really help keep things on track for me. Remembering that we gift as a way to connect and show gratitude or love, helps keep things in perspective, especially when I’m surrounded by the hype and pressure of consumption.


Gift giving is such a wonderful part of being human, and by being more conscious of how we approach it, we can lighten the load on ourselves and the planet.


For more festive gift giving inspiration, check out our Conscious Christmas blog.

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