Tis the season for lights, trees, gifts, and decorations. With the constant reminders of Starbucks holiday drinks and store sales, it’s easy to forget about giving back. I don’t know about you, but with 2 little kiddos, my house has turned into Toys R Us. Family members simply can’t help themselves when buying yet MORE toys, despite being encouraged to contribute to a college fund instead. This year, we’ve decided to take matters into our own hands. Instead of constantly asking people not to buy gifts for our house (when they won’t listen anyway), we will be rounding up toys that can be donated to those in need. My 3-year-old has been running around the house collecting toys that she wants to “share” with other kids. I’m proud she’s so willing to share with strangers when she struggles to share with her 1-year-old sister (but that’s another story for another day).
The true spirit of the holiday season lies in the joy of giving. Here are some ideas of ways you can spread cheer through acts of kindness and generosity:
- Volunteer your time at a local shelter or participate in a toy drive. Consider Toys for Tots
- Donate to your charity of choice. My favorite organizations to contribute to are – Embracing our Differences and Foundation for Sustainable Families
- Random Acts of Kindness. Pay for someone’s coffee in line behind you. Write letters of encouragement – to our troops; to patients at St. Jude; to our elders
- Practice Gratitude. As part of the holiday season, don’t forget to give thanks to yourself. Take the time to show gratitude for your body and mind. Things we all tend to take for granted. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Get a massage. Take care of YOU.
Hopefully, we can all end 2023 a little brighter than it started, going into 2024 with setting goals of how we can better help ourselves and others. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!
How are you planning to spread holiday cheer this season? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenna Whelan – VP of Research and Consulting Services