Freeport, Illinois — It’s a funny thing about this time of year. It’s the one time of year where the pressure on people to give is at its highest. Everyone is vying for your monetary attention.
Give presents, give food, give to the needy, give to this cause and give to that cause. Give of your time, donate to others and go stand out in the cold for free, so you can collect money and income for us.
We go from black Friday, (black Thursday now), to small business Saturday, to Cyber Monday and then after all the retail stores get the bulk of your ‘giving’, we have giving Tuesday (for all those less fortunate).
It doesn’t end there either.
Then the police inform us it’s that time of year they’ll be ‘out in force’, making sure we’re driving all safe and sound during our special time of family and giving. (Honey, I got pulled over for Christmas.)
It seems a true giving (and receiving) heart would see the many flaws in the above. Let’s help others, (just let’s give them the leftover change though).
From there to the other end of the spectrum, “that’s all you got me for Christmas”?
The pressure the ‘giving season’ puts on people when they can’t give, especially to those so close to them this time of year, is enormous. The absence of balance when you can give (and when we receive), is frankly just as sad.
This is the time of year where it’s about “giving to others” yet we’ll give 300 million dollars to those who don’t even need it, and 1 million to the ones who really do. The rest of the year we’ll spend our time complaining about the needy.
However you spend your holidays don’t let the pressure of the season fool you. Be at peace with what you can give, and be equally at peace with what you receive from those who can’t give much.
Harmony, happiness, a show of appreciation for someone, expressing how much you love the people in your life doesn’t have to come in a pretty little bow for it to mean something special. While material gifts are nice, it’s never been about the gift you hold in your hand anyway. It has always been about the gift you hold in your heart.
That gift you can’t buy.
After all the toys are broken and after all the food is gone, it’s the only one true gift that will ever last or mean anything in the end.
The best part, it’s free.
If you can’t give “things” this year, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it. If you can give a lot, consider a balance where your giving might matter most.