Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Giver

Deep breath. Relax. I do not like this frozen state I am in...and I am not talking about the weather. It is my observant nature to notice the needs of others, to feel their suffering, to do everything I can to help. I seriously think that if I were to win the lottery, I would stash away enough money for my kids college education and the rest would go towards helping others.

I have always been a sensitive soul and believe, as I get older, my purpose is being defined as
The Giver.

Christmas is approaching like a bullet train running full speed ahead and instead of divulging in the chaos, I just want to be still and soak in every cherished moment.  I am noticing that I am withdrawing from the madness. I refuse to go to the mall. I haven't a clue what my Christmas card will be this year. I haven't started writing my annual letter. My shopping is slowly being done with a grudge. The commercialism of Christmas is what I cringe.
It makes us greedy and compare each other to our friends. I try to avoid Facebook on December 26th because I really don't care what diamond necklace you received or if you gave your kid the latest version of the Xbox or iPad.

I resent the fact I have to buy a zillion Christmas gifts and a society deadline/pressure to send out my Christmas cards. I wish the holiday season made us focus instead on doing random acts of kindness, volunteering and relishing the time we spend with our precious family & friends.
Gifts are nice when they are given as a choice, out of love. But these gifts should be given spontaneously, year round, and they shouldn't be focused on "material things." The gift of your time is priceless.
This resentment does not come from jealousy or an inability to compete for giving the best present. It simply stems from a desire to give back, to make Christmas more than about you, to be a giver to those in need, who are less fortunate.

I'm realizing that when life has thrown the biggest hurdle at you and then you are given the grace to get back up again is when you truly understand the concept of what life is really about. None of the material things matter in the end. It is about how you gave back the goodness given to you, with love, kindness and faith.

Take a step back and examine your giving ways. How can you give back this holiday season? How will you focus on the importance of the season instead of the best gifts you can buy? Will you collect winter coats for the homeless? Volunteer at a shelter? Collect food from the neighbors and donate to a local food pantry? Organize a community event and have the donations go to charity? Cook a meal and deliver it to a friend who is having difficulty this holiday season? Write letters to our servicemen/women? Bake cookies and deliver them to a nursing home?
I challenge you to find a way to volunteer, to participate in a random act of kindness or to make a difference in someone else's life, who is not as fortunate as you. Better yet, if you have kids, get them involved too! They are never too young to start learning about how to care for others and to feel empathy. Together, we can celebrate the Reason for the Season and make the world a better place.
"The one thing you can't put in a box and wrap with a bow is your time, love and friendship."
~ quote from my 10 year old daughter, who brings joy to everyone she meets and is always seeking ways to help other's

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