“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” ~ Bob Hope
We’ve moved from the Week of Gratitude into the Season of Giving. The date on the calendar tells us the time of year when everyone puts effort into being a good person is upon us. It’s a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of, but I don’t understand why it is only a season. Why do we need a reason or calendar date to tell us when to be giving people? Part of the reason this season is so special to so many is because of the joy of giving. Can you imagine how it would feel to have that joy year-round?
The Season of Giving evolves from the Christmas story. It was Jesus who received the gifts of Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh and Jesus is considered by Christians to be a gift from God. And so began the tradition of gift giving (in simple terms). But Christian or not, gift giving is celebrated this time year around the world in numerous religions and in various ways. But the Season of Giving is not intended to be about the beautifully wrapped gifts lying under a tree. It also is not intended to be about the dollar value of your annual donation. It has been said that over 30% of annual donations occur between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays. What about the rest of the year?
People are kinder and more open-hearted this time of year. I love seeing doors being held for shoppers, hearing the ringing of Salvation Army bells, witnessing strangers wishing one another a Merry Christmas, listening to stories of people coming together to make lives better for others, and seeing communities gather. It’s the sights and sounds of the season such as these that are the Reason for the Season. They warm the heart. My only wish is for they to occur year-long.
The Season of Giving is the perfect time to make life better for those around us. Use this season as inspiration to find what speaks to you and explore the endless ways to give back all twelve months of the year. And whatever you decide to give, in whatever way, give it from the heart, not because you feel obligated to do so. And please, please, please do not participate in the annual gift card exchange (you know exactly what I am referring to). There is absolutely no heart in that.
The Season of Giving is not solely about giving gifts. It is supposed to also be the season to give thanks, spread cheer, and share love. But none of these ways of giving need to be limited to a season. Don’t wait on the annual Season of Giving to start on the calendar to donate your time or resources, share joy, improve the lives of others, or spread love. Be a giving person year-round.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ~ Francis of Assisi