I recently turned 21. A milestone so they say. I’ll admit, my birthday wasn’t typical—instead of a Margarita Monday or a Tequila Tuesday to ring in a new number, it was a sick-in-bed, studying-all-day kind of birthday. But it was still one of the best. I say this because it gave me a new idea—an inspiration for the happiness in gift giving. Whether it was flowers, balloons, or just a piece a piece of chocolate, I was reminded how a gift, no matter how great or small, can be the perfect way to let someone know you care about them.
But actions speak louder than words. It was during my birthday that I realized—why should gifts only come on birthdays or certain holidays? Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that come unexpectedly. They don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, just enough to convey that you were thinking of them. And before you start to think that this entire article is about how much I like getting gifts—I’m about to pull a 180 on you. In fact, I’m saying exactly the opposite because for the next month, whenever I go shopping (which isn’t too often so I don’t think I’ll go bankrupt with this plan), I’m going to buy a gift for a special person in my life. Whether it’s for my roommate, my best friend, my mom, or anyone who I treasure—no more excuses. When I see something that I think they will love, I’m just going to get it—all for the sake of hopeful happiness.
So much of the time we go out shopping just for ourselves. We buy a dress for ourselves, we buy Starbucks for ourselves (unless our boss is mandating a cappuccino), and heck, we even buy cereal just for ourselves. And I know, you may be arguing that it’d be crazy to buy something for someone else every time you brought out a Jackson or your gold card. But why should special occasions be the only time we’re willing to spend money on others? Let’s share more. Plain and simple.
I’m not suggesting you drop some serious dough. But I am inviting you to think of more than your self-interest when you spend. For example, let’s say you make a stop at H & M. Even just getting a little pair of earrings or a headband for a friend can go a long way. Or let them know you’re thinking of them by picking out their favorite snack (Cheez-its if you’re in my room) or getting them a chai latte while you’re getting your own. Life is happier when you share it with others. How can you not smile when you’re making someone else do the same?
Call me crazy, but I’m really excited to try out this project. You can still be savvy and spend your money in ways that make more than just yourself happy. Besides, the excitement from a new shirt will fade but your friendships will only get stronger when you put others before yourself. Happy spending but more importantly, happy sharing!
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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