The Spirit of Giving: What the Holiday Season is Really About

KidsEmail70x70thumbnailHeather Bowcutt
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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is -What are you doing for others?”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Giving is on our minds this time of year, and rightly so.  Emails have flooded my inbox with “Deals!” and not to mention the social media, commercials, and store displays literally shouting at me to buy their product.

But what if we could change the feeling of the holiday season? What if we did more giving, as in service, than we did in giving products?

When I was a senior in high school there was a less fortunate family of all boys without a mother, who lived a couple of streets over from my own family.  When school started in the fall, I noticed the oldest boy of this family walking to school.  Since it was still warm outside I really never gave him much thought. But when the weather changed, and got chilly in the mornings, this boy would still walk to school.  His coat was more of a jacket, and I never found out why he didn’t ride the bus- but for me, I’m glad he didn’t. One cold morning, I drove by this boy and my heart literally hurt as I watched him sink into himself to stay warm, so I pulled over and offered him a ride to school.  I found out his name and told him where to meet me after school for a ride home.  For the rest of the school year I picked him up every morning and took him home every afternoon after school, without fail.  I tell you this story not to toot my own horn, but to give an example of how easy it is to serve.  I haven’t seen this boy since the last day of school that year, and I don’t know if he remembers the rides to and from high school, but I do.  I remember how great it felt to help someone, and that feeling comes back to me every time the weather changes from warm to chilly.

Service is easy.  Its just a matter of making an idea happen.

Here are 10 easy ideas that could make someones holiday so much brighter.  Use these ideas to spark your own!  And get your kids involved.  Service makes everyone feel great.

  1. Run errands for an elderly family member.
  2. Shovel side walks in your neighborhood.
  3. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
  4. Become a buddy of a special needs student.
  5. Read to kids who are stuck in the hospital.
  6. Read to adults in nursing homes.
  7. Babysit for free for a mom of young kids.
  8. Donate and decorate a Christmas tree for a homeless a shelter.
  9. Make dinner for a neighbor.
  10. Donate toys, books, clothes, kitchen wares to a homeless shelter.

This holiday season, rather than purchase something that’ll be forgotten about in a month, serve someone. Not only will it make the one you’re serving feel good, it’ll leave you feeling good as well.

About Heather Bowcutt

Heather is the is the primary author of the Kids Email blog, where she offers safety and parenting tips, for when the kids are online and off.

View all posts by Heather Bowcutt here.

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4 Comments on “The Spirit of Giving: What the Holiday Season is Really About”

  1. I love helping people and my hubby is the same,he goes out of his way to help folks old or young. Simple things in life can make such a different in someone’s life,like a hug or a smile or just your time.We do baking every other weekend and give to folks who live alone! You will never miss what you give to someone in need !

  2. Our family is one of those that volunteers or offers to help someone in need. We drive elderly neighbours to the grocery store or appointments, we have volunteered at HomeFront Cancer Services in Stoney Creek, Ontario, for the last 15 years. I have watched neighbours children when they have to run on an errand as a matter of fact we have done just about everything on your list, with the exception of one. We do not buy coffee so we have not paid for someone behind us. This is our way of life, we have passed this on to our children and our grandchildren

  3. Great ideas! I’ve paid for a few people this year behind me in some drive thrus and made some meals. But i would love to go and read to the elderly! My grandma was visiting a few weeks back and we did a story time with the Narnia book and she loved it! She didn’t want me to stop!

    1. That is so nice of you, Shannon! You just pay for the folks behind you without knowing who is back there at all? That’s so sweet. Those are the types of simple, kind acts that can really make a stranger’s day!

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