The Season to Give
It is the season to give, is it not? Christmas holiday time is special. I remember as a kid getting gifts from Santa Claus. I do not remember giving gifts as a child. It was fun, but what message do we give to our kids. Giving is the key. It can be contagious. Haven’t you found yourself receiving a small courtesy favor like someone letting you in the grocery line before them, which in turn you pass on this giving of a small gift to someone else, and so on – paying it forward. Isn’t this what the holiday season is all about?
Our Christmas season beliefs and practices exemplify the value of giving. Not only do we give to those who we love, such as family and friends, but to those who are in need. The best holiday time I experienced growing up was when my family decided to give to others rather than each other by distributing food to those in need. Even today, we practice giving to others through our Center for Healthy Aging. During the entire year we serve and advocate for the Seniors in our community. During the holiday season we give to specific programs that help make the holiday season just a little better for caregivers and Seniors. During the month of November, we work with the Caregiver Coalition on their annual Caregiver Recognition Luncheon – we say Thank You to those who care for others and let them know how much we appreciate what they do on a daily basis. Another way we give back during the holiday season is by volunteering our time and nonprofit organization to help with the “Be A Santa To A Senior” giving program. Home Instead Senior Care, a personal care agency, established the “Be A Santa To A Senior” giving program, where several thousand needy seniors in Northern Nevada get holiday gifts from anonymous individuals or organizations during December. Knocking on a senior’s door and handing them a gift unexpectedly brings tears to all. Tis the season to give back!
It is never too early or too late to learn how to give. If you have young kids or grandkids, have them donate a toy to charity for someone in need. I have a very good friend that gives his grandkids gift certificates for the holidays – with the understanding that the gift certificates are for them to give to others.With your other family members or friends ask them what they are thankful for and then volunteer with them at a local community agency to give back. Simple acts of kindness are impactful. Smiling as you walk by a person, saying hi to a stranger on the street, opening a door, giving a genuine compliment, or letting the person behind you in the grocery store line check out before you are small acts that can change another person’s day. When that person has the experience and pays it forward – it changes another person’s day. We all win! “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Sir Winston Churchill.
Giving evokes gratitude and research has found that gratitude is integral to happiness, health, and social bonds. It is also contagious. When we give, we don’t only help the immediate recipient of our gift, we also have a ripple effect of generosity through our community. November 28th was “Giving Tuesday”, which was a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday; Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and endofyear giving.