‘Tis the Season to Give With Purpose

It’s that time of year again. ‘Tis the season for gift giving. Fortunately, Black Friday is a distant memory. For those who may not be familiar, Black Friday occurs each year here in the US the day after Thanksgiving. It is a time that deals can be had for holiday shoppers. It can also be sheer chaos! Some people get so caught up in the frenzy of it all that things can get out of control, which has led to injuries and even death. So very sad, but it’s also true. Fortunately, for the most part, the chaos is kept in check.

For me personally, I left the chaos behind this year as is customary for me to do. No Black Friday for me. I’m sure that there were some very good deals out there, but I must admit that getting good deals isn’t a priority for me this holiday season. Now don’t misunderstand me, I love saving money just as much as the next person. That being said, my main focus this holiday season doesn’t revolve around spending lots of money. What brings me joy during the holidays is not centered around consumerism.My primary focus this holiday season is to fully embrace the concept of “charity.” Specifically, my husband and me have made a commitment to each other to forego gift giving. We have decided to give our gifts to charity, so to speak. In other words, the money that we would have spent on each other for things that we don’t need will now be given to charity. In addition, the amount of time we would have spent looking for holiday shopping deals is now going to be spent doing more meaningful things (i.e., acts of charity). Nonetheless, we could spend ourselves into oblivion, but it will never buy us true happiness. For me personally, I feel happier when I can give something back, but not so much in a material kind of way.

It’s not that I’m entirely opposed to gift giving. I think that some gift giving can be positive. It just seems to me that there is too much emphasis placed on how much we have, and not enough on who we are. More importantly, I feel strongly about living in a world that connects with each other on a more spiritual and purposeful level. Gadgets are fun, but I don’t want them to become the center of my life this holiday season, or any other time of the year for that matter. I guess, “Diamonds are not this girl’s best friend.” That being said, it is possible to include charity into gift giving. For example, I have a bracelet that I love to wear every day. It’s a bracelet with purpose. I bought it to help raise awareness about the needless annual slaughter of dolphins in Japan. The bracelet says, “Save Japan Dolphins.” A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the charity to help save the dolphins. It makes a great gift idea, and it also has purpose. By the way, for those who want to learn more about this horrific problem, just click this link to Save Japan Dolphins.

I love to wear my "Save Japan Dolphins" bracelet! It has style and purpose!

It’s no secret that we live in a society that encourages materialism. As a matter of fact, often times we identify our own self-worth with what we own. The more we consume, the better we feel. The less we get, the more we feel deprived. What kind of message is this sending to kids and to each other? It’s no wonder that kids often grow up to spend themselves right into debt. Nonetheless, do we express love through buying lots of material things for each other, or do we just become less spiritually connected? As previously mentioned, gift giving can be positive (i.e., it gets us to think outside of ourselves), but I personally believe that our society puts too much emphasis on what we own. Besides, who really needs all that meaningless stuff anyway? It just becomes clutter that most of us don’t quite know what to do with. It’s just a diversion that side tracks us from any real spiritual purpose in life. Eventually, most of it just ends up in a landfill. How good can that be for our planet?

We are never going to eliminate materialism completely from the holiday season. As long as there are people, there will be a demand for material things. Yet, we do have the power to control how much materialism we want to include in our holiday season. As for me, I know that I will also be taking time to enjoy the gift of nature during the holidays!

So, I am choosing to celebrate this holiday season by doing acts of charity. It’s not how much I spend, but how much I can give in a meaningful way. And you can bet that helping animals in need will be top on my list as they are often last to receive any help at all. By the way, being charitable need not always be about donating money. One can also be charitable by donating time. No doubt, time can be in short supply, but it’s a matter of how we prioritize our time.

One final thought, people often talk about the importance of spending time with family during the holiday season. I personally think that family time is very important. However, I think that there are times that we get so caught up with our own family that we might forget that there are plenty of people out there who do not have any family, or will be away from their family for the holidays. So, why not reach out to them?

I guess you could say that I will be busy this holiday season, but I won’t be spending my time shopping for the usual gifts. If it doesn’t have purpose, it’s not on my list. Moreover, acts of charity are priority number one for me.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!! Thank you all so very much for taking time to read my blog and for your kind comments. I hope that your holidays are filled with warmth, peace and happiness. So, how will you spend this holiday season? Will acts of charity be a priority for you?

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About wordswithpurpose

Compassion motivates and inspires me. Whether it’s compassion for animals, the environment, or people–I embrace it. I try to live a compassionate life each and everyday. It gives me purpose.
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48 Responses to ‘Tis the Season to Give With Purpose

  1. 47 says:

    I just got hit upside the head with how materialistic I am. I spent over $1,000 on my dogs this year alone (probably double that) and I don’t want to even think about how much I spent on my kid. (At least triple what I spent on my dogs. >..<

    Do my dogs feel any more loved by the things they have? Sure they might have their own interactive play gym, but their favorite toys are invariably pine cones dragged in free from the yard.

    I'm still not completely on your bandwagon–there are things in my house with absolutely no purpose, that I would never get rid of in a thousand years, but I don't need to spend money as proof of love. I can just love. That's good enough!

    • Sometimes we can’t help ourselves, can we? Ha! Ha! It’s natural that we want to know that our family is happy. I guess it’s just finding that happy balance. By the way, that interactive play gym sounds like fun for your dogs! Fortunately, you won’t need to worry about your dogs becoming too materialistic. I believe the pet culture is a far bark “or” meow away from our own human culture. I think that we humans could learn a lot from our pets. That being said, you never know your dogs might start demanding concierge service before too long! Anyway, it’s always nice to have other pet parents drop by and comment. Our pets rule! Happy Holidays to you and your family. :)

  2. Bongo says:

    Giving to charity is a great idea. Stuff never makes anyone happier. It usually just makes us want more stuff.

    • Your comment just made me happy Bongo! I love all animals. They bring me lots of happiness much more than any stuff ever could. I rather spend my money on fun stuff for animals like you than on things for myself that I have no use for. I say that we can’t forget guys like you this holiday season! I hope that you have a Happy Holiday! :)

      • Sony Fugaban says:

        To spend time with my father (and the rest of our relatives) in the province who opted to stay when we decided to have them move in the metropolis where the rest of us (their children) are now based — because of our work. That seems to be unbreakable, as far as my kind of Christmas Vacacation is concerned, until I read this post. I did charity before and at times fate permits but not specifically for this time of the year. I think you gave me an idea to break the monotony the next time around. The thing is, my plan for “our” vacation this holiday season has been finalized (i.e. what I said earlier). Nonetheless, I am definitely considering the idea of doing charity next year.

      • That sounds great Sony! It’s nice to hear that you will be spending some time with your family! Precious time with our loved ones is often a luxury that is hard to come by. So, it’s always a blessing to be able to enjoy that time together. As far charity goes, I think that’s great that you are thinking about it for next year. Hopefully, you won’t need to sacrifice time with your family. That is, there will be time for both! :)

      • Sony Fugaban says:

        By the way, this one is anticipative for me because it would be the FIRST time that all of us are complete, if ever. Our eldest, who’s been away for many years since she went abroad will be coming over as well as my elder brother who also had a difficult time revisiting our old sweet home since he joined the army. I couldn’t wait, really!

        p.s.

        I won’t greet you yet until the 21st of this month because that would be the day we will leave for the vacation.

      • That’s exciting I must say! That must be a godsend to see everyone again after being away from each other for so long. I’m sure it will be a memorable experience for all of you! I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas Sony! I will talk with you again before the holiday. So, it’s just the first greeting. :)

  3. Merry Christmas my friend! Your post is an inspiration to me. It speaks of what my heart longs for this Christmas. Charity, giving, sharing ourselves , extending our love for others, being simple, being non- materialistic. All of these the world needs. There’s a christmas story of a saviour of man born in a humble manger. People forget what Christmas is all about. I love dolphins. Seeing them in pain because of man’s greed is agonizing. Their gentle and friendly. For someone to do them harm is so inhuman. Wishing you and your family love, peace, prosperity and joy this Christmas and for the days to come.

    • Wow! Thanks so much my friend. Your comment is so beautiful and heartfelt. And you expressed my sentiments perfectly! You are an inspiration to me as well. Also, thanks so much for mentioning the dolphins. I love dolphins (as I do all animals), and it breaks my heart to see what is going on. As hard as it is to hear, we can’t ignore the needless slaughter that takes place. Anyway, thanks for your lovely Christmas wish. I wish you the same, plus a million more!!! Ha! Ha! Seriously though, I hope that you and your family have a blessed Christmas. I’m sure that this won’t be our last greeting before the holiday. I’ll be over to your blog again soon. :)

    • Thank you for the wonderful wishes. I hope in my heart they will all come true for both our families. We all deserve a happy and memorable Christmas filled with love , peace and joy. Merry Christmas and a bountiful New Year my friend.
      http://thismansjourney.net/2011/12/06/liebster-award/

  4. addielicious says:

    I am sharing this post to everybody I know. :)

  5. Kudos to you for living in such a conscious manner. We all have way too much stuff. We all also live surrounded by needs and any way we can reach out and help meet those needs is a gift of grace.
    walk in beauty this day.

    • Thank you so much for your kind and inspiring words! I love your quote, “walk in beauty this day.” Those are words that we could all live by. Each day is truly a blessing. Life is brief, so why not cherish each moment? Happy Holidays! :)

  6. Northern Narratives says:

    This is an excellent and thoughtful post. Thanks for visting my blog. Nice to meet you :)

    • Thank you for your generous comment! That’s very kind of you. It’s always nice to hear that other bloggers enjoy my blog. By the way, it was my pleasure to drop by your blog. I’ll be dropping by again soon. You live in a beautiful state. I’ve been to Minnesota and loved it! I know it’s quite a difference in weather compared to Florida, but it is a lovely state. It must be gorgeous this time of year. I bet you see a lot of wildlife. Happy Holidays! :)

  7. jakesprinter says:

    I Agree with your about charity giving thumbs up :)

  8. raisingdaisy says:

    It’s been building in me for a few years how materialistic Christmas has become, and I don’t like it. It’s not about “stuff” or amounts spent, or at least it *shouldn’t* be. But I think the reason for the season is being overshadowed by consumerism more and more; I’ll be most people don’t even remember *why* we give gifts at Christmas. I’m with you – we should each do something to make the holidays better for someone less fortunate – at Christmas and all year long. Good post! :)

    • Isn’t it mind-boggling just how much Christmas has become so centered around materialism? I think the message does get lost amid the chaos, so to speak. Yet, it’s great to hear from warm-spirited people like you that haven’t forgot what it’s about. I appreciate your kind, inspirational words. It’s very nice to meet you via blogging. By the way, your Daisy is one precious pup! I wish you and your family (Daisy included) a Merry Christmas. :)

  9. I hear you, Donna! Sometimes I think the American motto is: Too Much Is Never Enough. Isn’t it sad that we rarely hear ourselves referred to as American *citizens* these days? Instead we hear constant references to us as American *consumers.*

    When I see reports of the people waiting in long lines overnight for Black Friday deals the lyrics from Dave Matthews’ song, “Too Much” start going through my head:

    “Straight in, suck up and go,
    Cool it, swallow, swallow
    Breathe deep, take it all
    It comes cheap
    Push it through the doors
    Because in between the lines
    I’m gonna pack more lines
    So I can get in…”

    I love the picture of the doe! Did you take it?

    We usually have a winter solstice party – no gifts – just food, conversation and games. And we spend Christmas Day simply with my aunt and my dad, who are both shut-ins – it means a lot to them.

    • I love how you said, “American consumers.” That is so true! By the way, that song is a perfect fit I must say. I laughed when I read the lyrics. I’m going to check that song out. As far as the picture of the doe goes, it’s free clipart/images from online. I would have loved to have the opportunity to personally take that picture! Nonetheless, that “winter solstice party” sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday. It sounds very simplistic and cozy I must say. As always, I appreciate you taking time to drop by and comment. I hope that you and your family have a Happy Holiday Barbara! :)

  10. munchow says:

    A very inspiring post spoken from the heart. I enjoyed reading your text so full of compassion and passion. It’s sure not about how much we spend, but how much we can give in a meaningful way. Thank you.

  11. john tugano says:

    nice move my friend,how sweet of you to choose the act of kindness this holiday season..Your bracelet caught my attention by the way.You really have compassion for the animals..I salute you for that…Merry Christmas and a Happy new year my friend.

    • Thanks so much my friend! I am so happy to hear from you again! I have been checking your blog. I figured that you might be on vacation, or that you were just busy with other stuff. Either way, you were missed. So, thanks very much for commenting. I no longer need to wonder. As for the bracelet, it really gets a workout! I wear it all the time. Lots of people ask me about it. So, it’s a great way to let people know about what’s going on with the dolphins. Anyway, thanks for your inspiring comment John. That’s very nice of you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! :)

  12. rumpydog says:

    I really like your post. I love the spirit of Christmas, but I dislike the expectations I feel are put upon me.

    • Thanks Rumpy! I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think those expectations that you mentioned are why so many people feel stress around the holidays. I like to keep it simple. Nonetheless, I appreciate you dropping by again and commenting Rumpy! I wish you, Jenny, and the rest of your buddies a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Animals rock! :)

  13. “So, I am choosing to celebrate this holiday season by doing acts of charity. It’s not how much I spend, but how much I can give in a meaningful way.” They say, the true spirit of Christmas is in giving. And I believe that its true. I pray that you and your family will always be blessed with love and happiness that never ends….

    • IT, you have just given me a priceless gift by leaving me another beautiful comment. I wasn’t at all expecting you to leave this comment. I must say that you are full of surprises. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe there really is a Santa Claus! Ha! Ha! Seriously though, I do appreciate your very kind words. I wish you and your family a very blessed Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

  14. aRVee says:

    Your blog name speaks for itself wwp. I can sense the generous nature in you while reading this post. Continue to be a blessing to the needy and you might not expect it but whatsoever you sow, so shall you reap.

    I am sincerely hoping that there’ll be an end to hunger. Happy holidays to you and your family. May you be blessed even more! :)

    • Thanks Arvee for your very generous comment! One of the things that I love about WordPress is I get to meet kind, inspiring bloggers like you. As for hunger, I’m with you. I hope that we can end world hunger too. Nonetheless, I hope that you and your family have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)

  15. raisingdaisy says:

    I just now noticed that you said you’re not accepting any new awards, but I saw it too late – I had already passed the Kreativ Blogger Award on to you! You certainly don’t have to add it to your blog, but just know that I find your blog ever so worthy of it! :)

    • I’m surprised and honored that you have mentioned my blog for this award! It’s always an honor to be recognized by our fellow bloggers. Thanks very much for your kind words. More importantly, I have just been given the most beautiful present for Christmas. That is, the priceless gift of friendship. By the way, I love it when you leave comments because I get to have Daisy’s adorably cute face on my blog! I wish you and your family a very blessed Christmas and happiness throughout the New Year. :)

  16. In my country of origin, a typhoon came just before Christmas and devastated the city with loss that made me realize that my worries are nothing compared to the victim’s pain. They need our help and prayers, as well as those in hardships all over the word. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Lets pray for a better 2012 for all.

    • That was such a sad, unfortunate tragedy IT. I pray for those whose lives were lost in the typhoon, and for those families who are now living without their loved ones. I can only imagine how heartbreaking that must be for those who lost their loved ones. I agree with you my friend that they need our help and prayers, as well as others who are suffering in the world. Nonetheless, I hope that your family and friends back home in the Philippines are safe. Also, I hope that your Christmas is filled with so much joy and happiness that the memories will last forever. Thanks for all your heartfelt comments. I have enjoyed reading all of them my friend. :)

      • Lindy Lee says:

        wordswithpurpose, at last finished with your posts, as promised at least a month or more ago. Nice support you are providing for all living things. You are in tune with nature from C to C. Thank you for being here and reading my poem “Always & Never” by LIndell Vecchio…

      • Thanks so much for taking time to read all my posts! I sure appreciate it! It was my pleasure to drop by your blog. I will be catching up with reading your lovely poems as well. You write with a lot of heart. By the way, cute kitty picture too. Anyway, thanks for your kind words and for subscribing. Happy Holidays. :)

  17. jakesprinter says:

    Great Entry my friend Happy Christmas to you and your family as well :)

  18. Just want to thank you for the generous comments. I’ve been busy lately that I’ve been off the computer for 3 days…that’s long for me. So, when I read your comment today, your thoughts made me smile with gladness. Always inspiring my friend. Wishing you and your love ones love, happiness and abundant peace. Thank you.

    • You’re very welcome IT! And your comments always put a smile on my face. I can understand being busy my friend. That being said, you seem to balance family, work and your blog very nicely! I always look forward to reading your heartwarming posts. As for me, I will be writing a new post very soon. Anyway, I appreciate you dropping by again. Have a beautiful week! :)

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