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Weekends bring happiness and a spirit of division. Events are planned with family, friends and business partners as we use the holiday as an excuse to hang out and celebrate. Popular forms of sharing are brought to the forefront during the holidays. Many are annual traditions, but there are opportunities that we should all take into account as new challenges in this economic environment come this year. Here are some holiday sharing ideas that can be done by individuals or companies.
prescription- We all love to eat during the holidays. We make special family recipes that have been released through the generations. Christmas cookies are popular as are competitions with holiday recipes. Thanksgiving is known for lots of food and potlucks and office parties during the season include opportunities for us to impress others with our culinary talents.
Many simply enjoy the baking process during the holidays, sometimes more than eating themselves. This year, why not consider testing a new found recipe and if it succeeds in sharing it with an organization within your community that can use the donation. Consider baking cookies with children and donating them, giving everyone a fun opportunity to share. First check to find an organization that can accept donated baked goods, such as a nursing home. This active lesson in sharing can be a new holiday tradition that goes on.
decorations- During the holidays, decorations come out of wardrobes where they have been hiding throughout the year. Wreaths are placed on doors, lamps are displayed on houses and the city streets are adorned with greenery and candy canes. This year, you can look at your boxes of ornaments, lamps and holiday decorations to see if you really use or need everything you've collected over the years. If you have excess, donate them to others who may not be so lucky. Your local schools may know of families who would appreciate the gesture.
Holiday Card- Getting the annual holiday card is something we look forward to every year. It's an opportunity to stay in touch with friends and family that we don't see often enough. Business cards are good for networking and strengthening business relationships. Charity cards donate a portion of the proceeds to deserving charities. Every year we buy new cards while we stick to the ones from the previous year. Consider donating these unused cards to someone who can use them for good use. This form of recycling card helps the environment as well as those who will benefit from their use. It also relieves clutter so you can use that space for more important things, such as Christmas cards with keepsakes you get from others.
Clothes- Use this opportunity to go through your drawers and wardrobes and thin out your wardrobe. A good winter activity indoors, make room for your new Christmas sweater by donating things you no longer need or wear. If you haven't had anything all summer, go ahead and get rid of it. If you don't remember the last time you wore something, you probably won't miss it anyway. Charities will fight more this year, given the finances, so will surely appreciate your donated items. Help someone else during the holidays while simplifying your life. Imagine how much easier it will be to find the special turtleneck you wanted when you don't have to look through a closet full of unused clothing.
gifts- Money is tight but a simple thoughtful gift can bring as much pleasure as an expensive one. Start now by listening and paying attention to those you will receive gifts for later. Does that person need more "stuff" this year? What can you give that would be appreciated and help others too? Consider gifts sold by nonprofits. A donation to a charity in someone's name is a good idea. A handmade gift can be more appreciated than a store bought. Maybe you have something you wouldn't mind relaying that has been admired. Give yourself a gift by applying for your organ donor card. Give yourself a gift by volunteering during the holidays.
Holiday Celebrations- Start a tradition. This year when your family, friends or colleagues gather, you charge entry into the annual party. Ask each participant to bring something that can be donated to a charity. The party will be just as fun and everyone will feel that they have contributed a little to make the holiday better for someone else.
Sharing your assets, personal strengths or just your time helping others during the holidays is a win-win. You are doing well by helping others and others benefit from your contributions. Start your own tradition of sharing during the holidays and continue the gesture beyond the season, for the year to come. Such measures provide good examples for others and can become contagious. Happy weekend!