Charity, goodwill, and extending of self to others through our hearts. My absolute favorite saying that I read in a Christmas greeting way back when was, "Touch Humanity With Our Hearts! Merry Christmas!" Gosh did that sink in deep when I read it. It wasn't just a Christmas wish to me but an objective I wanted to strive for on a routine bases.
Unfortunately as a society we really don't. Some of the things we do to help others seems a bit superficial. That's not heart driven to me. The one part of feeding the homeless or giving toys to the children in need at Christmas is that it feels fake to me. Why can't we instill something to help others on a monthly, weekly, or daily, whatever your capacity is to give. Not just a Christmas. People in need are just in need at Christmas? What happens in January, they just get swallowed up in a big invisible cloud until next year? I think you get where I'm going with this.
As for me, I like to give to animal causes. Year in and year out I donate money, transport animals, and do follow up checks on shelter updates for public notices. I do a lot of social media postings and tagging for animals in need to save from euthanasia. I did do a lot of fostering, but that is on hold right now due to my work schedule. My point is that I don't just do this at Christmas, I do it all year round.
So maybe a call to action for you this holiday season is to do a sidestep to all the commercialization for one day and visit a homeless shelter, an animal shelter or an elderly home. Bring home baked cookies, gift cards to food establishments, toiletries, jackets, sleeping bags etc. For elderly homes, they love to have someone to read books to them. Sing along in groups with them or play games, talk or just visit.
Maybe you have something deep in your heart that you have always wanted to do, maybe this can be the year you venture to do it!
I was talking to a friend about this and how many of my friends with children were super stressed out about the holidays. She shared with me that one year as a family they decided to have no gifts for Christmas morning. Instead what they would have spent on Christmas as a family was donated to a family in need. Wow! They donated their whole Christmas? I asked if her children were older when they did this. She said they were, but actually they were 9 to 12 age span. Imagine! Waking up as children with no presents. Well, that is what her children experienced firsthand. She said the kids were a little sad in the morning, but what an incredible teaching moment when the parents told their children "they had a choice to wake up without presents. Families in need do not have this choice."
Today her children are amazing young adults. One even serving in our military. What a lifelong lesson instilled by their parents' bold and courageous generosity to authentically teach their children while sharing with a family in need.
So if you are looking for something to do to help others, ask friends, neighbors, coworkers or Google. For me I was lucky to have my friend Suzzette Dunn, a Food Broker, share with me that for many years she volunteers on holidays at Hope for LA. What was so amazing to me about this organization is that they have plenty of room to help every Tuesday night or Saturday morning too! Imagine if you could start this December, let's say the 3rd Saturday breakfast or the monthly Tuesday night dinner to feed the homeless. A true gift that keeps on giving to help others. Break bread with others, to share fellowship with others. Food for thought this Christmas 2019. How can you bring the spirit of this Christmas into the New Year? Here's their link for Hope for LA: http://hopeforla.org/partner/faith-christ-ministries-s-y-yes/