Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giving Enough at the Holidays

There are mosquitoes. I see them stalking the door at night.

It’s odd.

In Maine, there are mosquitoes and there is snow. Rarely have I  seen them existing at the same time.

It’s dark. It’s overbearingly dark when I leave the office. Trudging out to see even the last glimpse of sunshine would require me to leave during my afternoon meetings.

I know it’s the holiday season because of the dates in my Outlook calendar; That and the Christmas music that deflects off toys and wrapping paper and cans of soups in the stores.

People at the office are gearing up to take time off.

I’m not a Grinch. I love decorating. I enjoy concocting random and thoughtful gifts with particular people in mind. I have holiday plans.

It’s just that this year, I think I just needed an extra reminder on how lucky I am and what the holidays are all about. Now, before you think I’m going to go all Hallmark-Lifetime-I-Want-A-Puppy on you, please realize that I came to this epiphany in the Toys’R’Us line on Black Friday.

Surprisingly, the chaos of PlayMobil toys intruding in the aisles and strangers telling you about the woman who “attacked people with pepper spray at Wal-Mart this morning” lead you to believe that, yes, maybe Americans have lost sight of what the holidays really mean.

Isn't it funny how chaos can sometimes make the most obvious things apparent?

The National Unemployment rate reported by the Bureau in October was still at 9.0%. Which means that Christmas morning is not going to be the same in a lot of households.

Which leads me to my point. The holidays are time to spend with people you love and appreciate, catch-up with old friends, and be gracious to the people you meet. I had a roommate in college that said, “volunteering doesn’t make you a good person, being a good person makes you a good person.” It’s the same with holiday giving.

Giving material items without any thought will not provide satisfaction. Giving because you feel as though you have to give is not giving with the right intention.

Give if you want to give. Give if you can give. And if you can only give your company or a helping hand – then that’s giving enough. 

Here's to the holidays!


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