How to be your own Secret Santa, intentionally 

Mihika Kumar

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s the season of joy, spending time with loved ones, and gift-giving. Even though I don’t really celebrate Christmas, I know that I’ve put a lot of effort into my gifts for friends and family this year - custom-making posters and buying things they told me they wanted a few months ago. When I gave one of my loved ones a gift the other day, they smiled, looked up into my eyes and said, ‘Have you put this much effort into yourself lately?’.

When was the last time you bought yourself a gift? Or took yourself out for a meal or coffee? I know that I haven’t in a long time. If you’re anything like me, trying to make others happy is your primary agenda. I tend to derive my happiness from those around me, which is itself something that I need to work on more than I have, but in this process it’s been easy to neglect myself. Many of us are so caught up in the fast-pace of the world today, constantly absorbed in all the spheres of our lives except ourselves. Self care and self love are never selfish, and continue to remain important even through the holidays. The times can be very pressurising and taxing, so it is vital for us to look out for ourselves too. Paying attention to your own wants and needs is just as important as those of others, if not more - it helps you be the best version of yourself, and live your life as you! 


Here are some ways you can give back to yourself during the Holidays (and throughout the year!): 


  1. Get yourself a gift!
    Take some time to think about something you’ve really wanted for a while, or even just lately. It’s okay to indulge yourself and give yourself a treat! This can also be a great exercise to connect with yourself more, and understand your wants and needs. While remaining feasible with your plans, it's more than okay to gift yourself too.


  2. Take time off.
    Holidays means HOLIDAYS. While you may have to continue to work or study, and may remain busy even with festivities, it’s important for you to unwind down too. You deserve a break, and the holidays are always a great time to let loose a little bit. Be easier on yourself, and give yourself more time to sit back, relax and do the things you love!


  3. Focus on YOU!
    Caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle, it can be incredibly difficult to find or make time to do things that make us happy. It’s easy to put our hobbies and other soul-good activities low on our priorities. The Holiday Season can be a good refresher to get back to who you are and what you love. Whether it’s playing an instrument, cooking, reading, dancing, painting, exercise or even just going on a walk - perform what stimulates you and makes you happy.


  4. Remember that the FOMO Factor shouldn’t influence you.
    While many of us want to utilise the holidays to sit back and sleep in, it can be challenging if there are many events, parties or gatherings going on around. Who wants to miss out, right? However, it is essential that you bear in mind your comfort level. Going out just so you don’t miss out may not give you happiness - but staying tucked in your sheets for a few more hours might. Retain a balance to find a middle ground between the two, and remember that it is okay to say no! 


Gifting yourself can take various forms beyond the aforementioned, and are limitless. How you gift yourself is a question of your own self-reflection, personality and journey. Remember that there is no right and wrong, and you are not being selfish for looking after yourself, or your own wants and needs. The most important reason to gift yourself is to show yourself the value you hold. Gift-giving should be an act of genuine, intentional love, and that same rule should apply here. Happy Holidays!