The season of giving

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Happy Holidays from Coronado Beach - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

What does the season of giving mean to you? Are you a fan of shopping mortar and brick stores or an online fiend? Do you make donations at this time of year to share the wealth? Are you one for teaching children what charity means by volunteering, getting involved and helping them share what they have with those less fortunate? Do you spend the season with family, friends, strangers or doing your own thing? Are you a traditional holiday celebrant or are you one to make your own? Whether your December is filled with snow covered streets or white sandy beaches….how do you celebrate the giving season?

If you head to any actual store, you’re bound to hear festive music while holiday cheer drips from the ceilings. If the radio is on while you’re internet shopping, perhaps you’re enjoying Adam Sandler’s rhymes or humming along with those reindeer names. Whether you celebrate traditional holidays or the season of ‘Festivus’…December is a season of giving. How do you do it?

Happy Chanukah - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

The little ones in our life are spread around the globe. We’ve decided that our tradition with them will be donations. At this time of year, they always receive a card and a gift of a donation that we’ve made in their name. Whether Oxfam America, Room to Read, Operation Smile, Hole in the Wall Gang or the many other incredible organizations around the world…together, we make a difference for someone this holiday season. This might not be a giant wrapped gift to go under a tree or on a gift table, but it’s a way we share the season with the munchkins in our life and how we hope to continue to change the world for the better, if only in a small way.

For many, this is the most difficult time of the year. Season of giving, perhaps, but there may be loved ones who are unable to join in the festivities. There are many struggling to make ends meet, or those still dealing with unknown safety and security and fighting for their lives. Others still are spending time away in order to keep the world safe. In whatever way you can, remember that there are those who may not consider this the most festive season and need a little more love and kindness than they let on. Help however you can.

Merry Christmas from Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

Whether it’s your holiday or not, December makes many of us smile a little wider and open our wallets a bit more. Perhaps you give of yourself and your time to help those in need. Perhaps you’re the cookie baker, clothing sorter, food server, class helper, book donator, coat collector or smile giver. Maybe you make your own cards and gifts to show how much they come from the heart. Whatever you do, I’m sure you make a difference in the lives of those you love.

It might be under your own decked out tree, or in a hotel lobby in lands faraway – or perhaps you enjoy the season itself and are one to enjoy it in your own non-traditional way…they’re all good choices. No matter what holiday you celebrate, religion you practice, or language you speak…kindness is the gift that unites the world. If you have more food – build a bigger table, if you can swing it – share your wealth with others, if time allows – volunteer, if someone has helped you – pay it forward…kindness matters. That’s the lesson of the season. It’s not about gifts or religion or a jolly old man…it’s about so much more than that. Open your heart…enjoy the season. Wishing you a wonderful time of year.

Happy December!

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