A guest post by Nancy A. Pritchard, Certified Life Mastery Consultant
The Not So Big Christmas – Day 13
The Spirit of the Season
If you’ve not done so before, step away from your ordinary holiday festivities and devote some time to finding someone in your community, maybe even in your own neighborhood, who could use your help this year. If you feel you’ve lost sight of what the Christmas season is all about, charitable giving can help to guide you back toward the true spirit of the holiday.
There are many ways for a person to be charitable during the holiday season. Some of these include:
*Set aside a percentage of the money you usually spend on gifts and give to your favorite charity instead.
*Ask ‘Santa’ to donate to charity in your name instead of buying you a gift. A few years ago, my sister and I decided to forgo our annual gift exchange. Instead, we gave a donation to each other’s chosen charities. I sent a donation in her name to her local animal shelter. She sent a donation in my name to Heifer International.
*Sign up to serve a meal in a soup kitchen.
*Sing Christmas carols to shut ins with your local choir.
*Declare Christmas week to be your own personal Random Acts of Kindness week. These little acts can really go a long way to brighten someone’s day. Enjoy recollecting your daily ‘random act’ before bed each evening.
*The week after Christmas is a good time to declutter any of your gently used household or wardrobe items. Drop these off at the local charity of your choice to benefit those in need in your community. (The tax accountant in me has to add: Drop off your charitable donation by December 31 and be sure to pick up a receipt. In addition to sharing your bounty with others, you’ll receive a tax deduction for the year as well.)
Group giving ideas –
*Just for this year, forgo the Secret Santa gift exchange in your office. You’ll avoid having to buy ‘just the right gift’ for a person you barely know, who probably doesn’t want the thing anyway! Instead, spend those dollars buying items for a local family in need. You’ll enjoy experiencing the spirit of giving with your work community.
*The Christmas Angel Tree – My church, Unity in Frederick, hosts a Christmas Angel Tree each year. The Angel Tree program is sponsored by The Salvation Army. Individual tags noting the age and gender of children in the community found to be in need are placed on branches of the tree. Members of the congregation are then given the opportunity to be a ‘Christmas Angel’ for one of these children.
It’s rewarding to share our bounty with a struggling family. As a good friend of mine once said, “How many of us are or have been just one paycheck away from being that struggling family?”
These are wise words. In this world, there is so much need. And we are all connected.