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Sacred Gift-Giving

I always want to get my loved ones the "perfect" gift, but sometimes I am stumped. I find it particularly difficult to shop for the gentlemen in my life - like my dad, brothers, and nephews.
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2008-12-12-sacredlotus.jpgAs the holidays approach, it is definitely that time of year for gift-giving. This is one of those times that I love and also go crazy over when I can't find the right gift! I always want to get my loved ones the "perfect" gift, but sometimes I am stumped. I find it particularly difficult to shop for the gentlemen in my life - like my dad, brothers, and nephews. My fiancé, that's no problem. He is a yogi, like me. And since I am with him day in and day out, I am attuned to what would be a great gift for him. But what about my family members who live across the country and who I have been giving gifts to for decades. Will I be able to think of something new? Can I use my creativity in any way? What is it that they really want? All these questions spinning around and what I realize is that what's most important is that the gift is meaningful.

There is a new trend happening all around us as I am sure you are aware called Green Gift Giving. "Have a Green Christmas!" "Go Green Christmas!" "Give Great Green Gifts!" and other green slogans are permeating our tv commercials, magazine ads, newspaper circulars, and store window displays. But what does all of this actually mean? Is giving a green gift better than giving a gift that is not green?

Tommy Rosen, Founder of the EcoGift Festival based in Santa Monica, CA, describes green gifts as those products coming from companies that don't plunder the earth and have environmental sustainability in mind. He and a team of others created the EcoGift Festival to provide a solution to the environmental waste associated with holiday shopping and provide people with an uplifting experience around holiday gift-giving. You can check out the EcoGift Festival this weekend if you are in the Los Angeles area. It takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-8pm at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Main Street. Even if you have done all of your shopping, it will be a fun, holiday-spirit celebration! There will be live music (15 bands!), organic food and inspiring speakers. Arianna Huffington, Linda Loudermilk and Gurmukh will be speaking to name a few. I'll be there (of course!) -- vending Lotus Blossom Style (booth 407). There'll be great prices, great people and great fun!

Through some investigation I am starting to see "green gift-giving" as a code phrase for not only products that produce less waste and reduce impact on Mother Earth, but also for thoughtful gestures and ideas that include and go beyond environmental savvy-ness. I read recently in an article called "Shifting Your Gifting" about a woman who received a wonderfully creative gift. She said that during a particularly difficult time in her life a friend gifted her a calling card, and a "free pass" for several hours of late night uninterrupted listening to her vent about her ex. She said it was the perfect gift because it showed how much her friend really "got" her.

After some thought, I am thinking that our gifts this season don't necessarily need to be "green" to be super gifts. If they are - FABULOUS!! If they are not, I think the important question to ask is - how will this gift add value to the recipient's life?

What about you? What is your gift-giving philosophy?

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