It's the Season of Giving

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During this time of year, we become so caught up in in the joy of the season—traveling home to family, shopping for gifts, watching as many Christmas movies as possible and throwing Christmas parties for everyone to get together. Sometimes we find ourselves so caught up in the excitement of the season, thinking about the gifts we want to receive, and before we know it, December is over. However, we hear it all the time, more often than not right now—give back. It does not matter the time of year, the season of giving should last all year long. Yet, the holiday season is a great time to give more than we would be able to regularly, and here is why.

We save-up our money for all of these Christmas gifts we plan on buying for friends, family, co-workers, and so on. We take time off to enjoy the holiday. We gather together and give thanks for all that we have been given. Through this, we can easily give back to numerous organizations, causes, etc., even in the simplest of ways.

At your party

In one way or another, we are going to get together with the people we love. Whether it is a holiday party with roommates, within one’s sorority, with friends from back home, or family who is coming to town—we are going to be gathering with others. So, why not make the most out of it? The holiday spirit fills others with joy and a generosity, which is why people are more likely to give during this time of year. So at these parties, ask for donations to a certain organization—set out a jar to have people put spare change in, instead of gifts, ask everyone invited to bring a canned-good to donate to a soup kitchen/food bank, or ask them to bring in dog or cat food to give to an animal shelter—the possibilities are endless.

 

On your Christmas list

As the weeks to Christmas break get closer, we are constantly thinking about what we need or want for Christmas. Your mom is asking you so she can go out and buy it before you get home. Friends are struggling to come up with what to buy for you. Rather, ask for donations to a charitable organization. Maybe you are involved in one on-campus and want to fundraise for it over break—perfect! Send the information to your parents, extended family and friends, and you will be surprised how much people will give.

 

With your free time

At the end of the semester, your obligations slow down, and more free-time is opened up. There are no tests to study for or papers to write. It is a great time to wind-down and relax. But with so many days off before we come back for second semester, you can also use some of those to do good this Christmas. Volunteer your time at your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen—so many people fill these places during the holidays, that they often get over-packed and not everyone can be served. Spending even just a few hours of your time at one of these places will not only make others feel good, but yourself too.

 

In your neighborhood

Often we forget about the people right around the corner. Everyone’s neighborhood is filled with people from various walks of life, and while we do have the daily encounters of a small conversation or a wave while we drive by, sometimes we forget to see how these friends are spending their holiday season. Buying small gifts, or putting together a plate of cookies for each home will go a long way. You never know what these people are going through, and a small gesture like this could brighten their holiday season even just a little bit.

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