It’s so easy to get caught up in the consumer frenzy that takes hold during the season of good cheer, with the average Australian planning to spend $955 over the holiday season, according to ASIC’s Money Smart.
A new movement of conscious giving is beginning to gain popularity – and for good reason. As depressing as this sounds, less than 6 weeks after Christmas, the majority of our well-intended gifts will end up in landfill. So how do we maintain the Christmas sentiment without excessive, dare we say wasteful, spending? After all, Christmas is a time of giving and a wonderful opportunity to show the people closest to us how much we love and care for them.
Finding a present that you know will delight the recipient is one of the joys of Christmas – and so it should be! Here are some ways to give this Christmas, without the price tag or the waste factor:
Give time, not money
Relationships bring more joy than money ever will and investing time in relationships is a priceless gift. Create a card with a promise of a dinner date, a glass of bubbly or a fun activity with your child or grandchild. Making the commitment to spend time with someone that you love is guaranteed to be remembered by both of you long after the wrapping paper has been cleared away.
Food is love
Look up a recipe for home-made herbed olive oils and vinegars, jams, preserved fruit or a generous cake or slice. Wrapped thoughtfully with a meaningful card creates a unique gift that is personal and synonymous with love. The recipient sees the time, thought and effort that has gone into this gift and will continue to be reminded of you every time they use your delicious ingredient in their cooking throughout the year to come.
The gift of meaning and shared values
Gifting donations can be a very meaningful way to show that you resect the recipient’s interests and what they value most. If your son has just become a Dad this year, make a donation on his behalf to Unicef to help vulnerable children. Perhaps you have a close friend who is an animal lover and has recently adopted a new pet? Visit RSPCA Victoria’s website and sign up your friend as a Guardian Angel, donating on their behalf to help care for a homeless animal. There are hundreds of charities that you can donate to on someone else’s behalf. Taking the time to think about which charity would be most meaningful to your loved one will be truly appreciated, a heartfelt and meaningful gesture which gives ‘twice’.
Volunteer or fundraise together
Does your family have strengths in a particular area? Perhaps they are crafty, handy with tools, or good with people? Pooling your time and energy to raise money for a cause that’s close to the family’s hearts is a wonderful project to embark on together. Researching and organising opportunities to volunteer as a group will bring the family closer and embodies the Christmas spirit of giving and caring, which will impact the family far beyond December 25th. A great place to start is by visiting https://govolunteer.com.au to learn more about volunteering opportunities in your local area.
There’s no denying that Christmas is all about giving. By giving consciously, we show our loved ones that meaning, relationships and connection are what matter, not how much we spend. What’s more, we get the opportunity to live out our values and connect with our loved ones in a way which impacts the heart. Now that’s the true Christmas Spirit!
Axios Financial Solutions are a team of respected and highly regarded financial planners with offices on St Kilda Rd Melbourne. Axios helps their clients meet their desired outcomes by providing tailored financial services, strategies, advice and solutions. You can contact them at email@example.com or (03) 9869 5555.
Axios Financial Solutions Pty Ltd (ACN 007 299 014), is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee 234665
Please note that the information in this article is of a general nature only and has not taken into consideration your individual circumstances. Should you wish to discuss your personal circumstances please call us on 03 9869 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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