‘Tis the “season of giving” and we all know what that means: time to pull out our wallets and spend big bucks on gifts for our loved ones and donating money or other items to those in need. While that is what the purpose of the holidays is to many people, it is time for us to stop losing our sense of what the real meaning of this season is, or if it should really be a season at all.
The idea of the “season of giving” has become more prominent, especially over the past few years. It is easily influenced by big name companies as a way to persuade people into buy their products which leads to a never ending cycle of shopping and consumption. This term also pressures people, especially those who have bigger sums of money, to give back and donate to good causes. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, and are extremely generous ways to spend money and time, it is still important not to forget what the spirit of giving genuinely means, and to remember the following few ideas.
“Giving” is more than just giving
Tangible items are great, but nothing is more priceless than kindness and love. Sometimes, the only thing people need is to be shown support through genuine care and compassion. The saying “They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel,” by Carl W. Buehner is so prominent during this time. Humans are capable of changing others’ lives, and we should really use this season to make it happen.
Be aware of others’ situations
The holidays can be especially difficult for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, are estranged from their family, struggle financially or do not have a home to go to. It is important to be sensitive to others’ circumstances. This is a time to offer assistance in whatever way you can. This could be something as simple as inviting a friend over for a meal or giving them a ride to help them run an errand. There are a million different ways to show kindness.
It isn’t just meant to be a season
Rather than only applying these ideas to the holiday season, practice these different aspects of the giving spirit year round. Hospitality is timeless. Begin with making it a New Year’s resolution to perform more acts of kindness or to put more smiles on others faces as you set out on your giving journey. No matter what, always keep in mind that there is never a time where you shouldn’t be considerate.
It will come back to you
There is no better feeling in the world than watching someone be so delighted by kindness. A simple fact, yet sometimes difficult for people to understand, is that if you are kind to others, others will be kind to you. What you put out in the world will come back to you in a multitude of ways. What you do will ultimately benefit you, as well as those who you interact with on a daily basis. Also, know that you will find joy and happiness the more you instill it in others. Positivity is key to a healthy lifestyle, and what better way is there to achieve optimism than to produce it yourself.
No matter what your definition of giving is, it is important to know that there are other ways to bring this season of joy to others. Whether it is through old-fashioned gift giving, or spreading kindness and showing selflessness, any time of the year can be meaningful and incredibly beautiful. It all starts with you.