Come December 1st, the malls are decked out with Christmas decorations galore, carols are playing on every channel, and lights are shining all around the city. It’s a wonderful time for many people, however it is also a difficult time for others.
The holidays can bring with them a whirlwind of different emotions, and it’s important to consider everyone’s situation while contemplating how much money you’re going to spend to get each person in your life that truly amazing gift.
Instead of spending Christmas afternoon making a gigantic holiday feast your family can all enjoy, why not volunteer your time at a local shelter? You’ll be spending quality time with your family while helping those who have no place to go have a holiday meal of their own. We need to start thinking less about ourselves and more about others this time of the year.
Consider other ways you can give back this holiday season. That money you were going to spend on gifts for your friends? Why not bring your friends with you and use that money to purchase hats, mitts, and scarves, and then spend a night handing them out to those less fortunate. The amount of gratitude you’ll receive from someone on the street for handing them a pair of gloves will bring you far more joy than giving Jenny that new CD she’s been eyeing.
You could also have a toy drive to collect presents for kids who are less fortunate as well. Shelters are always looking for toy donations, as are hospitals. As a rule of thumb, focus more on collecting toys for toddlers and items for teens as most people tend to donate toys suited for the age group in between.
However, you don’t need to spend money in order to give. One of my favorite things to do is sing Christmas carols. Every year I gather a group from work to visit the children’s hospital to sing to the kids who will be in the hospital over the holidays.
The joy we see in the kids’ faces is all the gratification we need, and the parents are beyond thrilled that their kids will still have a normal Christmas despite being in the hospital. It’s a truly joyous feeling.
The holidays have become less and less about showing kindness, and more about showing how much money we can spend. Many say that the season is all about giving. But is it just about giving in general? Perhaps we should be focusing on those who need it the most.