I hope everyone survived “Shopping Week.” Honestly, I spent one day in a mall this past week and I was so overwhelmed. I wasn’t even there to shop, I simply went with some friends visiting from Europe. By the time I went “Black Friday” was long over but the Mall was still packed with people. All over this time of year you see “Black Friday” “Shop Local Saturday” “Cyber Week, etc.” While I respect being frugal and shopping around for good prices, I don’t really go in for the whole thing and I’ll tell you why in a minute. “Giving Tuesday” is kind of a refreshing break in the “buy, buy, buy” mayhem, and if you don’t know, “Giving Tuesday” is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and promotes donating to charities and giving for the sake of generosity. This leads me to wonder, though: Why one day a year?
Generosity is a gift in itself, friends. It’s a beautiful way, in fact, the only way to live and be truly happy. Nothing is as satisfying as giving expecting nothing in return. That’s why giving Tuesday is such a fabulous notion, but why restrict it to once a year?
I mentioned that I don’t really go in for the crazy holiday sales. In fact, this may shock you after what I said about generosity, but I rarely go Christmas shopping at all. I believe that Christmas is a time for gifts from the heart. Not that you cannot buy a gift and give it whole heartedly. Of course you can! BUT store bought gifts are simply not the only way to go! I like for my gifts to be personal, handmade and useful to the receiver. Here are some examples of what I mean. Take a look and see if there aren’t people on your list this year that could benefit far more from one of these gifts than a scarf or a santa that wiggles and sings.
- Free babysitting for busy parents who could use a break
- Cooking a meal for someone you know can’t get to it themselves
- A few free car rides to an elderly friend or running errands on their behalf
- Homemade cookies, chocolates, trail mix, granola<- If made with love these make excellent gifts.
- Your skill or trade! Hairdresser? Offer a friend a free cut and color. Plumber? Offer your in laws your services. Floral designer? Well, you get the point.
So, as you see, gifts from the heart can be both useful and thoughtful. And maybe 3 hours of babysitting won’t look as nice under a tree, but I’ll bet the recipients will be incredibly grateful.
“And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is better to give than to receive’.”
So please, don’t limit your giving to once or twice a year. Don’t limit your generosity to birthdays and Christmas. Remember that you don’t have to spend oodles of money to be generous, either. Giving your time, your effort in the spirit of love and kindness is truly giving from the heart.