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, volunteer, and give to 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.
I’m very thankful for this early training, because I did start celebrating Christmas as an adult.
Since I’d already learned to choose when, where, and how to give, I never became jaded, which I feel can put a damper on one’s holiday spirit.
We all need to be smart about our giving during the holiday season, or we may give, but it won’t be very cheerful.
We 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.
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.
Time is money too.
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. Recently, PayPal is even in on the action.
And oh yes…
We hear that familiar bell rung by a Salvation Army worker. By the way, these workers are seasonal employees, not your typical volunteer. I asked!
How the heck do you choose?
Cashiers at your favorite 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.
But 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, not just “holi-whelmed.”
So, let’s be conscious and aware.
That way we can remain “cheerfully giving” during this holiday season and beyond!