The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us. It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, swept away under the allure of celebrations, lights, and get-togethers. But before you hurry off to your next event, take some time to slow down and connect to what this season really means to you.

For many people, this time of year is a time of giving. If you are someone who likes to give during the holidays, check in with your motivations. If you feel as though you must give gifts simply as a courtesy to the people who are gifting you, why not suggest that you both donate to a local charity instead of spending time and money on gifts that you may end up giving away? Or, if you tend to spend more money on gifts than you anticipate year after year, why not get creative and make your gifts? A delicious plate of home-baked cookies will always win more hearts than will another holiday candle.

The first limb of yoga is made up of five niyamas, or social observances. Of the yamas, aparigraha, or non-hoarding, is the fifth. We would be wise to remember that most, if not all, the stuff we have in life really doesn’t matter when it comes down to it. If you want to give this year, give from your heart. Find meaning in the gifts you give.

This month when you come to your mat, take your mind off that new [fill in the blank here] you’ve been wanting. Instead, connect to how you want to feel. And connect to how you want your loved ones to feel. This awareness may change the way you participate in the holidays. You’ll likely find that it leads to a different kind of giving.