Regardless of faith or religious conviction, it’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the holidays and forget what the season is truly about.
Here are 5 ways to renew your faith in the spirit of the season:
There are many opportunities to lend a hand at this time of year. Food banks, toy drives, parades, local concerts, homeless shelters, church collections for needy families to name but a very few. But don’t let your volunteering stop on December 26th. Winter itself provides ample opportunities to flex your volunteer muscle. How about shovelling snow for seniors in your area? Volunteer with Meal-On-Wheels. Join with the local senior’s center and offer your services to drive seniors to appointments. And of course food banks and soup kitchens need volunteers year-round.
2. Start A Drive
Hook up with a charity and host a local drive, be it for food, school supplies, medical supplies, clothing, diapers, what-ever. Get others to help you with collection, packaging and delivery to the charity head-quarters.
3. Donate Items
This is a great one for children. Ask your children to sort through the toys they no longer play with. Take the gently used ones to the nearest donation center. Have your child accompany you to the center and ask them to put the items in the box or give them to the person at the door. Your children will be proud that their toys will go to good homes and be loved by other children.
4. Opt to Give Gifts of Hope
Instead of buying Aunt Marge yet another scarf and Uncle Fred the usual wool socks, donate the money you would have used to purchase those items to a charity. Give Aunt Marge & Uncle Fred a card with a hand-written (or computer generated) note stating that on their behalf, you have given the gift of hope, and in some cases, the gift of life, to someone who needed it most.
5. Focus on Giving
As each of the other points demonstrate, giving of yourself, your time, your gently used items, and/or your money can all be great ways to keep and instill the reason for the season. And if and when you do exchange gifts, always remember that it is better to give than receive. Focus on the joy you get when you watch someone open the gift you have selected especially for them because you wanted to get them something, not because you had to get them something. And focus on the joy they get from receiving it.
Bringing Joy to the World, either close to home or far away, will bring joy to your world.