Monday, December 16, 2013

Santas, Scrooge & Giving

I love when I see the stories about Secret Santas that give back at this time of year. When people ask me what I want, I actually have a tough time saying anything because I prefer to be on the giving end. Now this is not a blog about patting myself on the back - it's about talking about the love of giving and paying-it-forward.

Many people say that holidays are for the children...because there is nothing like seeing the face of a child as they unwrap a gift. I tend to think that's a great way to see it because people get crazy around Christmas and the holidays due to the pressure involved. I say - remove the pressure. Not everyone can or should be buying gifts for others. It puts them in to much debt during December. Cut down that list and do not try to buy for every single person you know.

But there are so many other ways and times of the year to give to others. I personally do not like when I've worked places and they told me what I should give to. I give to charities, non-profits and groups that mean something to me. It can be a cancer, autism, MS, or an AIDS walk. Maybe a favorite non-profit theater company. Giving a little towards an indie filmmaker trying to get their film completed. Or a singer recording his first CD. These happen to be way that I prefer to give in order to pay-it-forward to another person. (And not all of those are tax write-offs, so trust me...it's not about that.)

It's about that overwhelming feeling you get when you know you have made someone's day by your gesture. And sometimes that gesture has nothing to do with money. Showing kindness to others can definitely evoke a response as well. Giving shouldn't be something just reserved for the wealthy.

Giving also shouldn't be something we think about once a year. Nor should we feel guilted into doing it or spending beyond our means. Give from your heart. Give what your can. And give to those you believe are deserving. You can put that smile on a face and Christmas spirit in a heart all throughout the year.

After all, isn't that what Scrooge learned?