Give Back Generously This Holiday Season
Generosity, one of Merlin’s seven magical words, is a word that holds magic in itself. You see, generosity is not simply about giving a tangible gift to another person. Instead, it’s the magic of giving freely of your heart, time, attention, knowledge, talents, and feelings. This act in itself is often a more powerful, meaningful gift to share with someone than an item they could purchase or acquire themselves. When you give of these things that you are intimately attached to, though they are gifts often more difficult to quantify, they are also ones that can only be truly released from a generous heart.
This holiday season, I hope that I can inspire you to be generous with your gifts. Not from your pocket, no, but from your heart. Read on to discover some of the ways that you can be generous and give back this holiday season — or anytime!
12 Ways to Give Generously
I think my dear friend Merlin describes the heart of a generous giver best, “I will give this to a dear friend,” he declares. “Of course, I’d love to keep it right here, where I can see it every day. Yet even more… I’d love to know it’s with my friend, where she can do the same.”
Here are some ways to be a generous giver in your own life:
- Volunteer your time
During the holiday season or any time during the year, consider sharing yourself with others. Charities and non-profit organizations are always looking for volunteers to help out, or you could volunteer to read at an after-school program, help out a soup kitchen, participate in an environmental clean-up — all it costs is your time!
- Create and hand out care kits for those in need
Another way to give back to your community and even to get kids involved in helping others is to create care kits to hand out to those who are in need. These kits can contain hygiene essentials, socks, gloves, or any other kind of items that might make someone’s day a little brighter. Keep these in your car to give out when you come across someone in need, or donate them to a shelter. I invite you to watch this video from InspiringYoungHeroes.org about Jahkil Jackson and Project I Am — and how his Blessing Bags are making a difference.
- Write an encouraging letter
Oftentimes, a few simple words of encouragement are enough to make someone’s day. Consider writing a letter to a student, a teacher, a neighbor, or anyone else you think is working hard and deserves to be recognized!
- Become a mentor
Everyone has some kind of skill that makes them special. Take on an apprentice and show them how to do what you do! Whether it’s a hobby, a passion, or your career, someone is looking for advice. Consider making video tutorials, writing down your recipes, or some other way to share your knowledge with others.
- Create something special
Homemade items hold their own magical significance to the recipient. If you can quilt or crochet, consider making blankets for a children’s hospital or shelter. If cooking is your forte, maybe you could bake a batch of cookies for a nursing home’s residents.
A sympathetic ear, and a caring heart, can make all the difference. Take time to listen to others and really hear them.
- Send a card to a stranger
Many residents of nursing homes and members of the military deployed overseas have no one to send care packages or write letters. You can help make their loneliness a little more manageable by sending a card letting them know that someone cares.
- Practice being environmentally friendly
One of the best ways you can give back anytime is to practice being environmentally friendly. We are all residents of this beautiful planet, and by taking care of our habitat and all the creatures who live there, we are ultimately taking care of ourselves.
- Lend a helping hand
If you see someone struggling with a flat tire, an armload of groceries, or a crying toddler, don’t ignore them and walk past. I invite you to connect with a stranger and offer a helping hand, a kind smile, or words of encouragement. I promise you — it goes a long way!
- Use your talents
Do you have an amazing storytelling voice? Can you create silly plays? Perhaps you’re a talented woodworker. Use your talents to give back! Provide entertainment to a hospital, read stories to children at a library, teach someone how to create their own furniture. Whatever your talent, share it!
- Be patient
In this busy, hustle-bustle life, it can be tough to slow down and have patience — especially when we’re all in a hurry to get where we’re going. Instead of getting frustrated in a line or in traffic or in any other scenario where you are not in charge of your own pace, take a breathe and give the people around you a little grace.
- Inspire others
Every item on this list will inspire others to follow your example and spread a little joy themselves. After all, kindness is contagious!