Christmas is often referred to as the ‘Season of Giving’, but that spirit is arguably less significant than ever. Are Christmas and the ‘Spirit of Giving’ related because we absorbed some important lessons from a bunch of shepherds and three wise men? Or is it simply because helping the less fortunate at this time of year is supposed to be joyful? Whatever your motivation, tradition is the ‘glue’ that connects one generation to another and GIVING means GETTING…. into the spirit!
Because giving just feels good! Research suggests that’s nearly 50 percent of people cite “the way, giving makes them feel” is a key motivating factor. It may seem like a slightly selfish motivation, but regardless, there’s payback for the recipient as well. Even a poorly constructed, homemade Christmas card, for example, brings joy to your Mum’s or Dad’s face. The cost isn’t necessarily important.
If you are of an older generation and you want to teach your grandchildren or children that Christmas isn’t all about TV adverts and buying expensive gifts, giving to charity is a great way to bring the holiday back to its humbler roots. That can mean giving an hour of your time to a local cause or donating money to a charity organization. Engaging in these activities together is an important part of allowing children to understand the deeper meaning of the season.
If every Christmas we thought about just one thing to make the world a better place long-term over a lifetime, we may have done 50, 75 or 100 (if we are lucky to live so long!) things to make the world a better place. Not just for one day, but to affect someone’s entire life.
GIVING for better education, where there is lack, is one such thing which makes the world a better place over the long term. At Christmas, we are all trying to make our own ‘microworlds’ perfect- with excess, with the next best thing, with the next most indulgent menu…when in fact, ‘perfection’ is created when we take a look at our macro world.
Perhaps, if just a small amount of that money was spent wisely on long-term, sustainable, good actions, we could help create something that is altogether more meaningful and lasting.
Author: William Winter
WLF Volunteer – UK