Now that Black Friday has passed, and the holiday season has begun, the hunt for the perfect gifts is on. Some love the thrill of the hunt, but others dread it. Will they like it? Did I forget someone? Did I spend too much or not enough? In the end, the holiday season ends up feeling more like a job, but without any of the benefits.
There is one solution, although it may seem a bit radical. Switch to selfless gift giving. By the time you’ve given, those worries you had will melt away. And you will likely end up feeling that you’ve received a gift in return.
- Give the gift of life by registering to donate a kidney. Thousands of people wait years to receive a kidney, but many die waiting. While it’s a big sacrifice, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
- Become a mentor. There are plenty of people who could use your skills, knowledge and wisdom. Why not share them with others?
- Take a volunteer vacation. Instead of going to an exotic locale to pamper yourself, pamper your soul by helping with a project in an exotic locale. You can do a mission trip or one that’s secular based.
- Help out our veterans! Most of us take for granted the sacrifices that our veterans have made. You can pay them back a little by volunteering at your local veterans medical center.
- Volunteer at a local charity. Kids will learn the meaning of need vs. want when helping out at the local soup kitchen. They see that not all animals have a loving family to live with. You can also form a bowling team for Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl For Kids Sake, or take the icy plunge in Special Olympic’s annual Polar Plunge.
- Help out a neighbor who is elderly or chronically ill. While we often try to avoid being around the elderly and ill, they need our help more than you know. They often feel like they are a burden and may be less inclined to ask for help. Take their garbage can to the curb each week, shovel their sidewalk after a snow, or invite them over for coffee once a week.
- Give blood once a month. In recent years, there has been an increased demand on the blood supply, especially after natural disasters. This has created more shortages than usual. It’s quick, easy, and you get cookies when you’re done!
- Send money to a faraway country for a worthwhile project or for much needed items. You can give as little as $10 to make a difference.
- Donate a toy or food basket this holiday season. There’s always a need, and the recipient will be able to enjoy the season.
- Do a random act of kindness. It’s rather cliche, but recipients always appreciate it. There are some great ideas here.
Surely there are many more great ideas out there. Share your ideas and experiences. Which ever option you choose, you’ll find that once you’ve taken the plunge, you’ll experience less stress and more happiness all around. After all, isn’t that what the season is about?