Monday, November 19, 2012

Countdown to Christmas: A month of giving

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to make this year 'different'. Every holiday season I vow sometime at the beginning of October that THIS YEAR, it's going to be different. We're going to replace "stuff" with meaningful experiences. We're going to give to others, and buy less for ourselves. We're going to do some good, rather than filling our home with things we don't need out of obligation or tradition.

And then, inevitably, the season gets away from me, and we find ourselves at the mall with everyone else, scooping up the latest must-have gift or taking advantage of a deal too good to pass up (but... it's 40% off!).

Don't these people look filled with the holiday spirit?

I'm usually able to 'fit in' a few good moments among the craziness - baking cookies, or decorating, or watching a holiday movie as a family. But, those moments seem so fleeting in a season filled with to do lists, pressure, events we're obliged to attend (another breakfast with Santa...?), things not finished, stress.

So. I am here now, mid-November, making a pledge. This year really IS going to be different.

I'm kicking off a Month of Giving, starting on Nov. 24. This will give me a month to give, outside my own friends and family, for a month before showering my own circle with love and joy and gifts.

My plan is to find ways, big and small, to make a difference. This all came to a head today when I read a Facebook status from a friend (hi Paula! :)) who had just gotten a free coffee, thanks to the person ahead of her in the drive-through. Such a simple yet powerful gesture. I bet that person ahead of her never imagined they would be the catalyst in a month of giving by someone totally unrelated to the exchange at the drive-through window!

I have some ideas of things I can do, but I'm looking for more ideas (keep in mind I have two kids, 7 months pregnant and a full-time job...). Anything - big or small - I will consider it all. I will do something each day from Nov 24 - Dec 24. I am excited!

Anyone want to join me?