December is upon us. It is the season to be jolly, but also the season to be selfless.
Too often, Christmas is focused on trying to find, or on receiving, the perfect gift. Instead, in honor of this holiday season, I’d like to take a look at ways you can share with the 12 Days of Giving.
On the first day of Christmas, you can give freely, by “adopting” a family in need.
Adopting a family helps them enjoy the holiday in a way that many of us take for granted. Churches and groups offer the opportunity to help a family in need. Families First can match you with a family requesting assistance for the holidays.
On the second day of Christmas, such a joy would be, to help a nursing home community.
There are a number of assisted living facilities in Fayette County that would welcome special treats for their residents. Whether you want to make cards for the residents, or simply sit and spend time with them, your presence can make a world of difference. Speak with the facility prior to your visit to learn rules regarding visitors.
On the third day of Christmas, help a young family: offer to babysit for free.
I remember when my boys were young. I adored being a new mother, but longed for a night out with my husband, sans crying. Cue the generous, irreplaceable gift of free babysitting. Even if it’s just for a couple of hours, it can help rekindle a couple’s spark, or help a momma rediscover her sanity.
On the fourth day of Christmas, you can help to feed; one less person goes hungry.
Organizations like Hosea Feed The Hungry serve warm meals to those in need on the holidays. You can also volunteer with other projects throughout the year. Midwest Food Bank distributes food to area pantries, and can always use help with packaging, along with donations.
On the fifth day of Christmas, be kind to an employee with an extra day to spend with family.
This year Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. What a gesture it would be to allow your employees even half a day of extra time on Monday to recover and enjoy being with the family after the holidays!
On the sixth day of Christmas, be neighborly with a yummy baked goods delivery.
Do you have a neighbor who’s elderly and doesn’t get out much? Or a younger neighbor who is far away from family? Perhaps just a family who could use a caring word? Why not show up with a plate of chocolate chip cookies or an apple pie? A small gesture of neighborly kindness can mean a lot, especially around the holidays.
On the seventh day of Christmas, thank your boss for generosity with a gift card to go out to eat.
Show your boss appreciation for their leadership all year long. Being in charge isn’t always fun or highly regarded; let your boss know you’re glad to work with him or her. A gift card to their favorite restaurant is a thoughtful gesture.
On the eighth day of Christmas, make a precious memory: give to Toys for Tots gleefully.
Your gift may be the only one a child gets this Christmas. Whether it’s a book or a toy, it’s sure to be treasured by a little one. Make an impact in a young person’s life with a simple gift.
On the ninth day of Christmas, clean those closets completely, then donate to charity.
Goodwill, local ministries, and veterans’ organizations will gladly receive your donations. Find that suit jacket you’ve barely worn or that skirt that no longer fits, and let it bring someone else joy.
On the tenth day of Christmas, stock a pantry: give canned goods abundantly.
Fayette Samaritans is one of our favorite places to bring non-perishable items. They open their doors to those in need in Fayette County. Perhaps your church stocks food for congregation members going through tough times. Find any number of places to accept the items and put them to good use at someone’s holiday dinner table.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, thank those you see daily: bring colleagues a breakfast treat.
What a surprise for the co-worker who always seems to shirk responsibility, or the person you least like having as a part of your committee. Instead of harboring negative feelings, shock them with kindness. A box of Dunkin Donuts or a basket of bagels can melt even the coldest of hearts.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, spend time where you should be: with your precious family.
Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday that you forget what is most important. No matter how many gifts are under the tree, without you there, your family is missing the greatest gift of all.