The holidays come with many traditions, and regardless of how each person chooses to celebrate the season, the act of giving gifts is a powerful and common expression of love and friendship. However, for those in recovery from addiction or who are working to overcome mental health disorders, the act of giving gifts can also be a powerful resource.
This time of year not only promotes expressions of gratitude, but it is also a time to practice the art of giving gifts and work to rebuild trust, relationships, and create a unified approach for the future of one's continued recovery.
The Importance of Giving Gifts
Giving gifts is a powerful thing, and its importance extends far beyond the immediate thanks that come with a nice present. Gifts are an opportunity to showcase how an individual cherishes certain relationships while providing an opportunity to express how one intimately knows another on a personal level, building a more sentimental and close relationship. Rebuilding this atmosphere of gratitude with supports, friends, and family is instrumental in continuing to prioritize a sense of unity towards one's continued success, and this dynamic can begin with a simple present.
However, there are many different possible strategies to make the most out of giving gifts, and consciously approaching this time of year with the intent to foster one's most important relationships can be instrumental in determining a powerful, memorable gift.
The Makings of a Successful Gift
The most powerful gifts consider a few different elements. Not only does cost factor into the equation, but the personal rationale behind the gift and the form that it takes are all important considerations. Approaching this act of gratitude with dedicated intention can open the doors for the continued development of relationships and thanks.
Deciding on a Budget
Giving gifts, while a powerful recovery tool, can also be a source of stress, especially as those in recovery learn to balance their budgets. The cost of gifts is important for a number of reasons, as not only does it force those in recovery to budget between their own needs and their desire to provide others with presents, but it can also be a barrier to the exchange of gifts as a whole if an individual receives a gift that would have a greater monetary value than one provided themselves. By agreeing on a maximum budget for gifts with one's family and friends ahead of time, each individual can feel like an equal part of the gift exchange without feeling guilty or indebted about the chosen gifts.
Make the Gifts Personal
Personalizing gifts is the most important component of the experience. While the holidays present any number of generic offerings, taking the time to get a personalized gift can instead showcase how an individual knows the recipient, as well as how they view the specific relationship with their giftee. Taking into account another's hobbies outside of their support can inform one's decisions when it comes to picking out gifts for the holidays. Others may want to immortalize a specific situation that aided an individual in their recovery and recall specific actions or events that provided the most support to inform their choice of gift.
However, picking out the right present can still be difficult, and gift cards are always an option. While this may seem impersonal, there are ways to personalize even these presents. By getting a specific gift card, such as to a friend or family member's favorite restaurant or hobby shop that one frequents, it is still possible to showcase one's knowledge and appreciation of another even through gift cards.
Giving the Gift of Experiences
While it is common to think of unwrapping a box encased in paper, gifts don't always have to take this tangible form, and instead can come by gifting experiences or services. Taking friends or family out to a concert, dinner, or sporting event can all be ways of gifting others a new experience and creating a new memory in a light of gratitude. Organizing these events oneself can also build upon one's ability to be responsible and tend to details while extending appreciation and consideration for others, not only working to further one's own agency in recovery but using these skills to develop relationships, as well.
Gifts can also be services provided, such as cooking, or can be personal creations, such as a work of art, literature, or another artistic endeavor. Being open to these kinds of gifts can make one's presents the most personal possible, as not only can one create something for another from the ground up, but it can also be the culmination of new skills gained throughout the recovery process.
Effective presents are always more about memories and thanks than any monetary value, and prioritizing the intimate, personal relationship that gifts represent can make for the most powerful exchanges throughout the holiday season and beyond.