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How To Shop Mindfully During The Holidays

toronto christmas market tree

With the holiday season around the corner we want to prepare for the pressure and fast paced activity that can come with it. Everyone loves the family parties, yummy recipes and festivities that fill our calendars in these upcoming months. This can also come with brainstorming gifts and visits to crowded malls which can quickly become overwhelming. At E’s Element we’re also preparing for holiday rush orders and our share of seasonal deals to share with you. It’s important for us to always remember to express gratitude for one another, including everyone who’s shown us endless support. It’s also an opportunity to challenge ourselves to slow down, moving with intention and care for one another in this super busy time. We’d like to extend this mindfulness to everyone moving into the holidays - especially those who will be searching for gifts to all their loved ones! Here are some gentle reminders for how to shop mindfully this year.


Go for Meaningful Gifts

While you might feel obligated to participate in extravagant gift giving - remember that it’s the thought that counts. While this sounds like a cliche, it’s true! Think about your favourite gifts you’ve ever received. It’s likely that the reason you value these gifts is because someone you love paid attention to what brings you joy! Whether it’s a card or handmade mittens, the idea of someone putting careful consideration into you is always a good feeling. It’s always okay to spend more on gifts (even if they are to yourself) but this year try to be specific about what you spend on. Think about the person you are gifting to. Your present is a manifestation of your relationship with them. When buying gifts ask yourself the following questions: what do I know about them? What are my favourite memories with them, is there anything that can remind them of that time? What do I think this person deserves more of? What do they need less of? What would make their inner child happy? What do I appreciate about this person? What are their favourite things?

Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District

Caption: Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery Historic District, photo courtesy of global news 

Consider your Budget

While the sentiment of the holiday season is centered around family, loved ones, rest and gratitude - big corporations largely disregard that, focusing on encouraging you to spend more. In this digital age, advertisements are increasingly hard to avoid. As corporations push out sales, deals and discounts it can be super easy to rack up huge spending without realizing it!  It’s important to consider how much you’d actually like to spend this year. While keeping in mind all your other expenses for the rest of the year, outline a reasonable amount you feel comfortable spending this time of year. To help you stick to this boundary, try organizing amounts into the following categories: gifts, food (think desserts you’ll bring to family dinner), shopping (think any items you want to buy for yourself on boxing day), outings/activities (think the Toronto Christmas Market), and more. By sticking to this budget you can avoid overspending this year!

E's Element owner Emmanuela Okon at a pop-up market booth with customers

Caption: Founder Emmanuela Okon and amazing supporters at a holiday pop-up 

Shop Local

A great way to shop in a more mindful way this year is to support local businesses. Shopping local is an easy and effective way to be more sustainable, enrich the local economy and give a gift to the business owner at the same time you are giving a gift to a loved one. A huge downside of holiday shopping is the overconsumption and the excess waste it produces. When shopping with big corporations, you contribute to the pressure on unethical production methods and harmful shipping routes that hurt our earth. Subscribing to rushed buying behaviours also makes it more likely that the items you buy are not going to stay with people for the rest of their life, leading to more items ending up in the landfill. Shopping local can help combat this as locally made items are usually crafted with more intention and higher quality. An item you buy from a local business is more likely to be something you can keep forever! Supporting local also boosts the economy around you! Small business owners, such as Emmanuela Okon, along with the hard working teams that run them rely on your business to keep their dreams alive. Every purchase is like a gift you’ve given to the local business! Keep this in mind for the holiday season! 

We hope the tips we’ve offered here can help you shop mindfully this year and leave you feeling energized going into this beautiful time of year! 

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