Ways to be Generous this Holiday Season

December 18, 2017

Ways to be Generous this Holiday Season

Ways to be Generous this Holiday Season


The idea of gift giving among families is an exciting time. For children it can teach the idea of delayed gratification, and the joy of being together as a family. On the other hand, It also comes with meeting financial expectations, comparison, shame, and judgement. It can be stressful and take away from the joyful time spent with family and friends.

I love the feeling of being generous. It’s totally self-serving. I give because I want to make a difference. I feel the best when I know the gift is practical, needed, and unexpected. Many gifts around the holidays seem to miss the mark in this regard, especially the unexpected. Here are a few ways to feel more generous, outside of the sometimes mandatory holiday gift giving.

  1. Adopt a family - The Salvation Army usually puts together a list in local communities of families that could use a little help during the holidays. This is a great way to make a difference and especially meet a need.
  2. Give a loan - Kiva loans money to low income entrepreneurs. I can’t think of a more practical way to give a gift. The money gifted will go to grow a business, and when you get your money back you can give again and again.
  3. Donate your time - Whether it is time spent making cookies for a fundraiser, or ringing the bell for the Salvation Army time spent for others is never wasted. Your entire perspective will change when you see others giving generously of what they have.
  4. Mentor - Mentoring is the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Mentoring someone on their life goals and aspirations will provide you with great insight and also satisfaction. There are many mentoring programs including Big Brothers Big Sisters, and even organizations through your local school system.
  5. Create - Anytime you create something with your own talents you are giving a gift to those who benefit. It could be creating a party for all your friends to attend, giving a great skiing lesson to your niece, or writing a poem. Create more and you will surely give more.
  6. Listen - Yes, listen. In the age of social media, actually listening and connecting with others is very generous. Have conversations with the intention to listen and connect. We often talk more than listen and try to share our own opinions more than listening to others. Listening can show compassion, and empathy.

Feeling generous this holiday season could open you up to a new perspective. Gift giving is fun, but generosity is deeper and more meaningful. Generosity is the feeling you have when you know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Wishing you and your family a holiday filled with the joys that generosity brings! :)

Maria Halcumb is an educator who likes to spend her days writing, reading, teaching, “mothering,” and any activity outside. She is on a path to Be More, Want Less, and Gain Quality. You can check out more of her writing at LiterallySimple.com. She lives with her husband and one year old daughter in Vancouver, WA.

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