Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the holiday season. Halloween and Thanksgiving are behind us and we are looking ahead toward Christmas, Hanukah, and the New Year. It is a time of reflection, giving thanks for what we have and planning for the future.
Many of us enjoy the traditions of the season and look forward to celebrating them with our own families. Turkeys at Thanksgiving, presents at Christmas and Hanukah, and kissing a loved one at midnight on New Year’s Eve are some of those things that are tried and true.
But what happens when our expectations aren’t met?
What happens when there is no money for a turkey on Thanksgiving? What happens when the loved one you planned to kiss is in the hospital terminally ill? And what happens when you have to tell the kids that Santa won’t be able to make it this year?
Many families across the country are struggling right now and the holidays are a great time to lend a helping hand to those in our communities. As we have seen this year, many have lost jobs, are facing foreclosures or evictions, and can’t afford to feed their families due to the hot mess of 2020. Sometimes in life, we all need a random act of kindness or some help to get back on our feet. If anything, this year has shown us that we are not invincible, we are not immune to job loss and we are all “having a moment.” Let’s take care of each other and lift up one another, even a stranger.
We are all busy and tend to find ourselves strapped for time during the holidays. We are trying to decorate, cook, wrap presents, send cards, reach out to loved ones, and more. It’s hard to even think about how you might fit one more thing in! I totally get it and want to share with you some easy and quick options that our busy family has done in the past to help those in need.
Drop food off at a donation spot. This one tends to be the easiest as many places you already go have collection bins at their front doors. Simply grab a few extra non-perishables while you are at the store doing your regular shopping.
Check out what your employer is doing and participate. Some places of employment adopt a family for the holidays, raise money for the local animal shelter or have a Toys for Tots bin in the lobby. If your employer isn’t doing anything, why not volunteer to take the lead and get something started?
Pay-it-forward in the drive-thru. I always love when I pull up to the drive-thru and am told that the person in front of me paid for my order. It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy and is a reminder of the good in the world. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot. Naturally, I just ask to pay for the order behind me and I drive away with a big smile on my face and renewed faith in humanity.
Don’t forget to ask at church! Our church has a big tree in the lobby where different hygiene and basic need items hang on cut-out stars. Every year, we grab a star off the tree and get to work. Sometimes the star says undershirts, sometimes socks and sometimes toothpaste. Once we have purchased the item and a sturdy plastic shoebox to put it in, we turn it back in at church. The boxes are then filled with the basic needs items everyone donated and delivered to the local VA.
If you take a moment to look around, there are plenty of opportunities to spread kindness and help someone in need. Do you have a favorite holiday time giving tradition? If so, drop it in the comments. I would love to hear it!