Tis the season to give. The problem is, we can feel like we’re giving too much at one time, and we can become cranky and resentful – losing the joy that typically comes with giving.
The holiday season prompts us to give gifts, either by purchasing or creating them, taking up our precious time and money. We must feel that the gifts are worth our investment! Ungrateful (or, in the case of the Salvation Army bucket, unknown) recipients can put a damper on our naturally giving spirits.
Take some time this season to think about who you would enjoy giving to, rather than those to which you may feel obligated to give. Focus on conversations you’ve had with each person, searching out those things that would be appreciated. Consider causes that speak to your soul and ways you may further each cause’s mission with your donation of time and/or talent.
Don’t allow yourself to be tempted to spend more time or money than what you can truly afford, or you risk becoming Grinch-like, spoiling the season for you and those around you. No one who truly loves you would want you to be unhappy or in debt so that they could benefit.
But could this season of giving be an opportunity to showcase a financial reality that may not, in fact, exist? My sister once had a neighbor who would shower my sister and her family with extravagant gifts on a regular (like, weekly) basis. While my sister’s family enjoyed the gifts and thanked her, they found out, after some years, that the woman was on the verge of bankruptcy. Her gift giving was an attempt to find favor with my sister and to show her generosity. Well, how generous would she be if, upon declaring bankruptcy, all of her debts were absorbed by various businesses, credit card companies and society?
We do interesting things with money and often want it to represent who we are, rather than allowing our true selves to shine forth, and then act accordingly with our money.
I wish you peace this season and always, and may the spirit of giving find a place in your heart.