Many of us learned from childhood
The joys of…
Giving rather than just receiving.
My beloved foster mother taught me how it felt to be a “cheerful giver.”
She was a very giving person herself, and I watched with admiration as she put time and money into helping others.
She was also a godly women who believed in quoting scripture.
I remember helping to pile the car with clothes and other necessities that we would be taking to people deep in the South.
Many folks didn’t have glass windows, and few girls had ever owned a bra.
I quickly reasoned that what we were contributing, was for a good cause. And I still research good causes today!
More importantly… we as a family made a conscious choice to make a difference in these people’s lives.
At the time, we didn’t celebrate Christmas, so I learned to give any day of the year, no specific holiday or season.
When I joined the US Air Force, I was further empowered to go out in the community and donate my time, communication skills, and miles to various charitable organizations.
I’ve continued giving my time and expanded skill set to this day. Since I choose when, where, and how to give, I’m not as jaded when holiday time rolls around.
I’m very thankful for this early training, because I now do celebrate Christmas.
I say this because I also brought some “smarts” along with me.
We need to be smart about our giving during the holiday season, or you may give, but it won’t be very cheerful.
I learned I can choose:
What to give
When to give
How much to give
To smile and say a kind “No Thanks!”
Nine times out of ten, at some point in our lives, we have all been members of the donating public.
We have favorite charities that we freely and generously donate to. What’s yours???
Many of us also tithe, stock church food panties, and donate out of country.
Others of us prefer to give our time, rather than money.
Did I mention giving at the office?
Then along comes the holidays!
All of a sudden, our mailboxes fill up with pleas for money, or canned goods that the mail carrier will drop off for us. Some mailers brazenly encourage us to give monthly.
Here’s the rub for me: I give weekly hours each year to the same organizations that then ask me for a hefty donation at year’s end. Hello! Time is money.
We go to the grocery store and are asked to add a dollar or more to our grocery bills. We shop for pet supplies and are asked to buy cans of dog food, or give money.
Department stores ask for charitable donations both off and online. We’re stopped on the street by a homeless person and asked.
There’s Toys for Tots, Coats For Kids, even PayPal is now in on the action. I noticed this one just this week.
And oh yes…
We hear that familiar bell rung by a Salvation Army worker. By the way, these workers are seasonal employees. They are not typically volunteers. I asked!
How do you choose?
Why wouldn’t you choose yea or nay?
The cashiers at the stores have to ask for your donation.
During the season, it’s a job requirement.
They will be asking all day through Christmas, and sometimes at other times of the year depending on what charity has latched on to their stores. If you kindly say no, they will live through it.
Know your “giving” budget
Don’t feel “cheap” just because you don’t want to give
Don’t feel like the person asking will hang their head if left empty-handed
Kindly refuse to give if you are feeling put-upon
Re-gift items you already have that will do some good for those in need
If you prefer to give your time, say that, and move on.
We are all givers in some form or fashion. And if you’re like me want to continue being generous, just not “holi-whelmed.”
So, let’s be conscious and aware.
That way we can remain “cheerful givers” during this holiday season and beyond!