Before I say a lot, I want to qualify that I understand not everyone has the ability to give monetarily during the holidays. I understand it's a struggle just to get by on a daily basis for some people. So, before anyone gets upset, remember I said that. K? Ok..so here goes.
One of the companies I work for are currently asking for donations to assist a children's cancer charity. It's something that can be done in increments as low as $1 so it's not like we're asking for a ton of money here and like I said it benefits children with cancer! HELLO???
So anyway, I had a lady call in and buy over $900 worth merchandise. I asked her if she'd like to make a donation. She declined. Now during this entire conversation she was talking about her grandchildren and how she just loved to buy their gifts. When I gave her the total she was elated that she'd shopped so cheaply. So when I asked her if she'd like to donate a dollar or more and she said no I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that she wouldn't want to help. Now to be fair, for all I know she gave a thousand dollars to the same charity or even another just as deserving. I wouldn't know if she did or didn't. It did make me think though.
In all the shopping frenzy are we forgetting something? Something like, oh I dunno, the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place? Isn't it supposed to be a time of giving? For most Christians, the exchange of gifts symbolizes the gifts given by the 3 Wisemen to baby Jesus. Other religions of course celebrate this differently and that's fine, I have no issue with other traditions at all but if you're celebrating CHRISTmas it should be done in a manner consistent with the spirit of the occasion.
If you celebrate X-mas, well then I guess it really is all about the presents and getting what you can get for yourself, be it the joy of giving, receiving, whatever. I'm not passing judgement here, that's not my place, I'm simply asking if there shouldn't be a deeper meaning to the whole thing.
Sooooooo, In that vein, I'm going to start posting a tip a day through Christmas in an effort to not only give ideas on ways to give monetarily but to give of yourself and your personal talents. It doesn't have to cost a thing. It just has to come from the heart to be special. I'll also post on things I am doing myself. My goal is to just see if there is anyway to make someone elses holiday brighter in any way.
Technically as a Christian, this is something I should be doing all year long anyway and I do manage to make lap blankets and take them to the nursing home but I cannot say that I have ever really taken the time to identify a nursing home patient that could use some company and taken the blanket to them directly and give them some of my time to just talk. So that's the goal, do more to give of myself instead of just what I can do conveniently. I challenge all my readers to do the same and if you have tips/ideas you'd like to share, please do. I will post them and give you a link back to your blog. All religions welcome of course, as long as it's family appropriate and in no way offensive, no one will be excluded. Share your culture by all means :)
Soooooooo for the first tip:
Prayer is a powerful thing. It's cheap, it's easy, it can be done virtually anywhere and it encompasses all religions. Whomever you pray to, simply offer up a prayer that those who are less fortunate will not be forgotten this holiday season and that those who can help will do so. You can also pray to be shown how you can help someone. Open your heart, take just a moment of your time and just pray for others. It feels good.