They don’t call it the ‘silly season’ for nothing, so I find it amusing that we often see people being led by greed and regret at a time of giving and hope. Love and affection are ‘gifted’ via lavish gifts, revealing perhaps the previous years’ lack of connection and communication. Instead of giving the gift of time and love by handing out over-the-top presents, the gifter is temporarily left feeling atoned for their poor choices – a vicious cycle, right?
My message for everyone this Christmas is to find a way of giving back and regain perspective. Just like in two books I reviewed recently, Goodbye Busy, Hello Happy, and The Power to Rise Above, acknowledging what brings us joy is paramount to spreading kindness and sharing gratitude. To enrich your soul, I encourage you this ‘silly season’ to feed your heart through the gift of giving.
Some free ways to do this, which can involve your children as well, are;
Donating your time at a local shopping centre to wrap gifts.
Spend some time at a local nursing home or aged-care facility. Even 1 hour can bring joy and hope to someone feeling lonely this Christmas.
Head to your local animal shelter and offer to walk dogs or cuddle kittens – this one the kids will love!
If you are fortunate enough to be able to offer your time and finances, you may like to;
Donate toys or books to a local charity – Kmart has a wishing tree, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation will always accept new gifts for children of all ages.
Offer your time to a women’s shelter in your local community. Donations of women’s hygiene products, skincare, and clothing items are often welcome.
Head into an oncology ward and leave some puzzle books (word search, crosswords, sodoku), coffee satchels, sweet and savoury treats, books, etc., for those spending time receiving treatment over Christmas.
No matter how you choose to give back, the level of the expense will not increase the grandness of your gesture; work within your means and involve the children so that everyone benefits. Individuals, community groups, and charitable organizations all need your help. Do it without recognition or public gratitude, and you’ll feel even more fulfilled and enriched by the experience.
Share the love this Christmas, and be open to giving and receiving love.
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