Tis the season of giving! The malls are packed with shoppers. The parking lots are full. And people are scurrying around trying to find gifts for their family and friends.
The hustle and bustle can make shopping during the holiday season very stressful.
However, are we putting this stress on ourselves?
Did you know that during the holiday season the average person spends 14 hours shopping for gifts for their loved ones? Doesn’t that seem like a lot of time? Who even has this kind of extra time?
Well, I sure don’t.
In the past, I loved buying people gifts that I specifically pick out for the person to show my appreciation and love for them. And don’t get me wrong. I still do! However, in the past, I wouldn’t dare buy a gift card because heaven forbid I show them that I basically have given up on finding them something nice. Well, that was my old way of thinking anyhow.
The thing is, after years of gift-giving to my family I’ve realized that the thoughtful gift I chose for them usually ended up in their return pile. They wanted the option of going out and choosing something for themselves instead!
In fact, every time I purchase my mom something she returns it 80% of the time. She also can’t hide her displeasure in something which also makes it super obvious it is going back to the store. However, every time I buy her a gift card, she loves the trip to the mall and returns with a smile on her face because she now has items she loves.
Needless to say, I placed a lot of stress and anxiety on myself to find these perfect gifts. And, I really didn’t need to. My mom is always happier finding something for herself.
Similarly, last Christmas, my teen daughter specifically asked for gift cards so she could go out and get herself what she wanted, and our tween daughter was super excited when she received a few gift cards to her favorite stores too. They’re at the age where they like to shop and going to the mall with their friends is also something they like to do.
In truth, gift cards make me happy too! So why did I think for so many years that they wouldn’t make another person happy? I guess I didn’t want my gift to come across impersonal, and I also liked shopping in the past. Fast forward to three kids, a side business and barely any time to shower, my days of spending 14 hours in the mall are a thing of the past.
Today, I still choose gifts to give gifts that aren’t gift cards. If I do choose a gift card, I add a personal special touch. For example, sometimes I’ll write a long personally written card or add an extra small simple item they love to go along with it.
The other day I was walking around Metropolis at Metrotown with their new Ivanhoe Cambridge gift card I was gifted ( it can be used at 21 different shopping centers nationwide) and I loved that I wasn’t limited to one store!
Heck, I even used my Ivanhoe Cambridge gift card to buy some groceries at the Superstore in Metropolis and that made me very happy. I know it may sound weird, but I was happy that I didn’t have to spend my hard-earned money on groceries, and rather it felt like it was a gift to me! Wouldn’t that be amazing if our groceries were always gifted to us? Hehe!
In conclusion, if shopping for other people causes you to feel anxious, and stressed then maybe you need to stop searching for the perfect gift and give them the gift of choosing what they love. The holiday season should be a happy time and stress and anxiety can be dangerous to our well-being.
This holiday season, I’ll be gifting a mix of both objects and gift cards. I know now which family & friends prefer objects as gifts and which ones prefer a gift card which helps ease some shopping stress this season.
And since the season is all about giving I’m gifting one lucky reader a $100 gift card to Metropolis at Metrotown so you can choose what you love!
Best of luck and Happy Holidays Friends!
For more information about the new Ivanhoe Cambridge Gift Card check out the website for frequently asked questions.
*This blog post was written in partnership with Metropolis at Metrotown.