It's funny when I think about Christmas and the panic I feel about not giving enough. Then I think about all I HAVE done and realize that my family is truly blessed. If nothing else, we are able to show others the love we have in our hearts. In many ways that makes us rich beyond all that money can buy.
One way I was able to give this year is by being a member of Heart-4-Seniors. In this group, people send happy messages to senior citizens who may have otherwise been forgotten. This is a group that goes on all year long, but for Christmas we were each assigned a senior to make sure they had something under the tree. This was, of course, optional. I asked for two seniors because they are a couple. The idea was not to get them something big but to have at least one wrapped gift under the tree.
I had every intention of buying my senior couple something nice and mailing it on time for Christmas, but life got in the way. My plan for giving fell through when other expenses started to pile up. Fortunately, with my mom's help, I was able to pull off something nice for my seniors. We put together wonderful packages for both her assigned seniors and mine, and it was all relatively inexpensive. It's amazing what a couple of hand-made projects can do to put together a nice gift. I was impressed when we were finished, and I wasn't feeling bad about not doing enough. I was proud of what my mom and I HAD done with what we had.
I think we often don't give ourselves enough credit when we think about giving. Holding open doors, a smile, a hug... all of these can be gifts themselves. We just don't think about it that way because we've been taught by the media and advertising that we need to spend, spend, spend in order for our gifts to mean anything. I know, having been the recipient of an angel card shower myself, that a small gesture can mean the world to someone who really needs it. From now on I won't criticize myself when I am giving from my heart. Giving a piece of yourself can really make all the difference and is the best thing you have to give.
The best part of Heart-4-Seniors is that I don't give only on the holidays. I give a little extra around those special days of the year, but each week I send out a card with a joke, a word puzzle, or maybe just a hand-drawn smile. I tell the senior a little about my week. I feel good knowing that someone will benefit from my taking a few minutes to share. If you would like more information on this special group, please click here.
If you need great ideas on home-made gifts, please check out my new Facebook page, A Healthy, Home-Made Holiday. I've been collecting ideas from all over the web to help make your holiday just a little lighter on the wallet.