Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Month of Giving: Warm Fuzzies

As many of you know I've decided to take a break from the crazy spending spree this holiday season through a Month of Giving. I thought I'd give a quick update of how it's going so far.

So, the first week was interesting. While I was busy trying to think of ways to give, I found myself on the receiving end of generosity and helpfulness. While I really was grateful for the help I was getting (all sorts of things, from someone letting me go in front of them in a checkout, to someone offering to do a huge favour for me because I was in a bind), at the same time I kept thinking, no no, I'm supposed to be helping YOU! But, I used it as fuel for the fire and set out to do a few things.

Now, being 100 months pregnant (or so it feels) and everything else, I'm finding it difficult to get around, let alone launch some kind of big philanthropy mission. So, instead, I've been trying to find small, unique ways to make people's day a little better. While in a coffee shop check-out line, I asked The Hubs to pay for the person behind us, just because. Funny thing was, we didn't realize the people behind us had ordered about $25 worth of food and drinks. Heh. But no matter... we paid and it felt good to think about what I assumed would be smiles on their faces. I felt like a Christmas elf!

Meanwhile I've been saying "Yes" to every check-out person who asks if I want to donate $1 to random charity du jour (except The Salvation Army... I won't go into details but on principle I don't donate there). Normally I would say "No thanks" or "Not this time" <-- as if I intended to give another time, which I never really do. I kindof liked saying "Yes, sure!" to each one. Warm fuzzies. Feels great to let drivers go in front of me (even when my instinct is to speed up and shoot them a glace... had to check that instinct!) and even just smile at people I pass. Isn't funny how just a smile, or picking up something that someone dropped, or opening a door for someone can make things seem... better?

I've been throwing extra money in tip jars, signing up to volunteer at The Boy's school, giving toys to toy drives. It's getting fun, actually. The next challenge will be involving the kids, as I think it's important for them to see this and know what a difference we can make, even if it's small.

I've also donated some 'real' money to a couple of charities that mean a lot to me, personally, and which I've neglected to do for the past couple of years. I feel badly that I've spent so much on my own family and 'intended' to do more for others but just didn't get around to it. I feel like I'm making up for that now, however small a contribution I'm able to make now.

I have a few little things planned for the next couple of weeks that will be fun for me. Stay tuned... :)