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With all the shopping, baking, and visiting, the holidays can seem like they’re over before they even began. In the liminal period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when time has time to catch up with me, it always feels like Thanksgiving was last week. So it’s nice at this point in the year before the timeline ramps up to be mindful and create a little headspace for the giving spirit rather than the get through it spirit. Mindfulness rarely looks like a blissful looking person in seated meditation in a sun-filled room on a cozy pillow. Mindfulness in real-life boils down to finding stillness and connection in the midst of hurry and chaos, a helpful tidbit for what is to come next month.

Connection can occur over something as simple as making eye contact with and saying thank you to your barista, or as personal as sharing a meal with loved ones. Connection occurs in a deep way when exchanging a gift, as well. The exchange of goods or money has ancient roots in human civilization as a foundational act to demonstrate commitment to the community. We are hardwired to love one another and connect over-sharing what we have. Everyone knows the instant payback you get when you watch someone open a gift you got for them that they totally love. It sparks joy! Slowing down, carefully considering what everyone on your list would really love, and remembering to be present when they open their presents is good for your soul. Few things in this world are so mutually beneficial as giving.

While making purchases this month, consider doubling down on giving by buying local. Making purchases within the Cleveland area serves as another way to give a gift by investing in your community, so skip shipping fees this year if you’re able. Instead of a gift card to Target, consider a gift card to a local restaurant or another favorite haunt. Swap out Amazon for a maker’s market pop up, a local book store, or any of the storefronts on Detroit or Madison. For the wellness-minded on your list, we made it easy and are offering several gift card spa bundles, letting them get a little spa day in with us and some luxe self-care items for the home. And most importantly, remember to soak in the moment when you’re exchanging gifts. That’s the best part.

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