The Season of Thanks and Giving always makes me feel grateful for what I have, and starts me thinking of ways to do more for others. Usually I just think about it but don’t do anything. However, one divine year we provided Christmas to my friend’s neighbor’s family. The lady’s husband had just walked out on her and their family and she was too emotionally drained to even think about the holiday. Plus, she had no money. So my husband, Charlie, and I stepped in and made holiday magic happen for them. We never met the family—did all the giving through my friend—but it made our Christmas season that more special.
But if you’re like me, you’re busy with family, work and whatever else fills your day and before you know it your good intentions don’t turn into action. Plus you probably give to your favorite charities at this time of year … because that’s when the drives are in full swing.
So, with three weeks left before Christmas I would like to suggest that we start something new—Gratitude Giving—and give away a few dollars (maybe five or ten) each week to a stranger. That would add up to an extra $15 to $30 out of your Christmas budget. This random act of kindness is going to take guts! But I know you have them.
Okay, let’s get your heart racing with some $5 and $10 Gratitude-Giving ideas:
- Over tip a waitperson.
- Pay for someone’s coffee at Starbucks.
- Pay the toll for the car behind you.
- Slip a parent money at Wal-Mart to buy a toy for their child.
- Give some money to the homeless guy without judging him
- While you’ve probably heard these ideas before I hope they spark your imagination with creativity!
Will this sort of action fertilize Gratitude Giving for other people? Who knows. Just keep it simple, do it only once a week and tell all your family and friends. While we might not win a prize or make the headlines for our random generosity, we’ll surprise someone with kindness and maybe they’ll pay it forward.