The season of giving is upon us. It goes like this: give thanks and then give gifts. This holiday season has become busier, crammed with extras and excess for so many of us. And for others of us, who have figured out how to celebrate simply, time is our greatest commodity. We all want more time.
So how does a busy woman give back? How does she give as she’d like to give? How do you give as you’d like to give? You’re busy, right?
Generosity is intentional. I’ve come to realize there are no short cuts to putting other people first, even in this season of giving. It’s a thoughtful and mindful exercise.
Here are three things I’m practicing in an attempt to weave generosity into my busy life during this holiday season.
- While I’m at it… Most of the time, I can pull a pot of soup together affordably and deliciously. Lately I’ve been making more than I need. Since I’m already cooking, I double the recipe with intentions of taking the extra to my elderly neighbor, to the college students in my small group, or to the office where my coworkers are often too busy to go out for lunch. It’s not a huge thing but it’s something. Hopefully it makes someone’s day easier and that’s the point, isn’t it? (Sidenote: I want to make and share this Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup I found on Cooking Passion.)
- Pay it forward, or backward. The slightest chill in the air has me headed to the Starbucks, like pronto! In a mini-conspiracy with Starbucks employees I sometiems pay for the coffee of the person in the car behind me. “Can you tell me what the car behind me ordered? I would like to pay for theirs if it’s not crazy.” Suddenly the folks in green aprons are in on a random act of kindness and generosity. Have you ever paid for someone’s coffee or meal and slipped away? It is the MOST fun.
- Come one, come all. Okay, maybe not all. The holidays aren’t easy for many people. This time of year can amplify loneliness and absence. Think about the circles of people who are in your life. Who will be in town and unable to be with family this season? Who needs family this season? Make room for them at your table. Sometimes the tendency is to protect family traditions but bringing people into your family traditions or experiences is one of the greatest acts of generosity you can offer. I’m still thankful that the Wyatt family let me crash their Thanksgiving so many years ago. That meal with a sweet family gave me hope for Thanksgivings to come.
So, how are you going to do it? How are you going to work giving back into your lifestyle? How will you show generosity this season?
Tell us how you give back!