What to give …

There are only 3 more shopping days until Christmas and then … let the returning begin. I keep getting these sweet emails about the real meaning of Christmas. My satellite radio station is blaring the good news 24/7. My husband actually read aloud to me a well-written and insightful piece about focusing on the spiritual aspect of the holiday and turning your back on the hustle and bustle. I knew he was giving me a less than subtle hint that I should slow down. So, I promptly turned my back on him and rolled my eyes through the entire (long) piece. Whoever wrote it, clearly lives in a commune and has no children. The other most ridiculous thing I heard yesterday was the song, “If Every Day Could Be Just Like Christmas … what a wonderful world this would be.”  It would be a wonderful world without me in it, for if every day was just like Christmas, I would be dead in a week.

Are your presents all wrapped?  Any last minute buying to do?   Here are some thoughts about what you can give, not just now, but throughout the whole year.

1.  Give giving – for the person who has everything or for the child that is caring (or for the child that is a spoiled brat), give to a charity in his or her name.  While in a perfect world, it should be enough for them to know that someone was helped, in this world, everyone likes something in return.  Find a charity that will send information about who was helped and why.  Two that come to mind are Donors Choose and Bright Future Foundation.  Donors Choose helps classrooms in need and if you sponsor one of the teacher-driven requests, they will send you a beautiful package with thank-yous from the kids.  Through the Bright Future Foundation, you can sponsor an orphaned African child and you will receive pictures of and letters from that child.  I am sure you have your favorite charities as well.  Consider donations to them as gifts to others.  The person you are giving to likely has all that they need.

2.  Give a hand – you don’t need to be a volunteer to help someone.  Help a neighbor or a stranger.  Don’t wait to be asked.  There are people in need all around you … just look.  Take me for instance.  As I am writing this, it would be lovely if one of my neighbors recognized my need and showed up with a Bloody Mary or two.

3.  Give a break – instead of giving the finger.  I almost backed into a woman today.  It was completely my fault and as I rolled down my window to apologize, she quickly smiled and let me off the hook.  I had a warm lovely feeling for the rest of the ride.  Take a few extra seconds and let someone out of their parking spot, let them cut you in line, or let them off the hook for something they did to you.  It will be a gift to yourself as well.  It will keep your blood pressure low and your spirits high.

4. Give a call – Why is it that we can talk to the same people every day for hours and it is so difficult to find the time to keep in touch with someone we miss?  While you are wrapping or cleaning, don’t call your sister or your best friend.  Instead, call that person that you haven’t seen in years but that you think about often.

5. Give wine – when all else fails … it is the perfect gift — delicious, useful, appropriate, well-packaged, fun, elegant — did I mention delicious?

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