Giving in the Spirit of the Holidays

Now that the chaos of holiday excitement is nearing an end, I can take the opportunity to reflect on the feel good part of the holiday season- giving.
I recently had a discussion with my oldest friend about the origin of our community service and continued commitment of getting involved. Was this something that we were raised with? Was it related to personal relationships? Did we just wake up one day and decide to get involved? Really it was all of the above.
Growing up our family was heavily involved in Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Canada- and as a member of these organizations, you are encouraged to take ownership within your community and getting involved in various causes. If I only had to take one small lesson from those 9 years of service, it would certainly have been the power of giving and helping others. There were also many other moments of growing up that while seemingly insignificant at the time, moulded us into the individuals we have become. I recall carving Turkey after Turkey alongside my Grandmother for the Mission’s Christmas dinner or wrapping gifts until 2 am with my Mom so all the residents on the Auxiliary would have something Christmas morning. All those lessons have allowed me to share the spirit of giving with my family today.
Throughout the years I have met varying individuals- some have become friends, others have passed through and the majority have presented experiences. There are so many fascinating people that have a wealth of knowledge and stories to share- if you can spare a moment and an ear, open you heart and listen. Unfortunately some of those have also undergone great struggles in life, and occasionally by no fault of their own. These are the individuals that inspire us to give more. The latter part of 2015 was very heart wrenching to see so many more families, friends and contributing citizens suffer with the economy shift.
Previous years we had started a tradition of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ whereas our concept was to spend less monetary on gifts for each other and redistribute to those in our community and in need. Because we were not exempted from the downward spiral in the economy, this year we were positioned to give much less than previously. Instead of clustering all our deeds into one month (as time certainly would not allow), we spread them throughout all of 2015 as they were to mostly be in the form of acts of service apart from generosity alone. And while there are certainly aspects of previous gestures that were enjoyable and missed this year, having the opportunity to commit all throughout the year to a cause is so much more rewarding.
Deep down we all find happiness in giving- it’s a satisfaction that cannot be bought, borrowed or taken. The spirit comes from within and when allowed, will spread more rampant throughout the holidays- or everyday throughout the year, than any other gesture.
From our home to yours- Merry Christmas and may 2016 bring you happiness, good health and prosperity.

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