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.
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?