Every year the holidays sneak up on me before I know it. Living in Texas, it seems like we turn the corner from a hot summer to a warm Halloween and before we know it we’re eating turkey for Thanksgiving. I sometimes miss the seasons I experienced growing up in Missouri. They run together down here. Still, Thanksgiving and Christmas come the same time each year so surely I don’t have any excuses not to be prepared for them. However, this year I hope to slowly step into the holidays and enjoy each day of the season.
What Do You Give When You’re on a Tight Budget?
The importance of giving has been on my heart more lately. That’s always a good thing and maybe a sign that this will be a special holiday season. Honestly, I’m over selfishly complaining about my busy schedule, a tough day at work, traffic, an inadequate savings account that I can’t seem to keep money in these days, and many other hiccups in life. I love the holidays for the opportunity to refocus and think about others more intentionally versus myself.
I’d love to give more to people and organizations from a monetary standpoint, but I can’t do it right now. Honestly, cash is tight as we approach this expensive season for many reasons. It would take more time than you have to dive into those details. And maybe having less money this season is a good thing. Sometimes it’s simply too easy to make an electronic donation and check the selfless giving box on the holiday to-do list.
The Giving of Time and Acts of Generosity
This year I’m forced to do something different to consider others. I’m required to give more of my time, or perhaps things I value as acts of generosity. Perhaps this comes easy for you. If it’s what you’re used to doing, without meeting you face to face, I can honestly say that I admire that about you. Giving is an act of sacrifice. In many ways it is giving a part of ourselves away to someone else. It’s not always naturally the easy thing to do.
I know there are those around me in need and there is certainly always opportunity to help. For example, I served lunch in a homeless ministry earlier in the year in the downtown Dallas area. Such sacrifice truly removes any ability to think of oneself. Wouldn’t you agree? Those opportunities remind me that we live in a world of suffering and that people need help. They are looking for gifts of generosity.
I don’t know where I’ll be led to give this season but I’m looking forward to it. In many ways I’m craving these giving opportunities, again to forget myself in them. Giving requires our attention and listening to God’s direction. It’s never measured and can have big impact with the smallest of acts. It comes from the heart.
How Will You Give?
Where will you be lead to give this season? To your neighbor next door? The homeless shelter downtown? A co-worker in need? Someone close, perhaps many, are in need of our gift of love and generosity this upcoming holiday season. This type of giving I’m speaking of doesn’t require money.
I’m looking forward to the holidays this year and I know generous giving can change the hearts of both the givers and the recipients.
What are you going to be giving during this holiday season? Leave a comment and let us know!