The holidays are here with a vengeance. Just look at the newspaper ads promoting Black Friday deals. Every page is loaded with all the top trends for the season. We're already looking towards the best gifts we can give from these sales. Among the chaos, it's easy to overlook what is actually the best gift out there...you! From your time to your talents, you'll be surprised at how much it can make a difference for your family, friends, and community.
Reach out to family members and friends that might be alone this season. Sometimes it can be hard to find those among us who need a bit of kindness. That's especially true among families whose members are not as close as they used to be. Helping out is easy. Just pick up a phone or send out an email. Sometimes just a few loving words give someone who is troubled something to smile about. If you know of an elderly family member that is living alone, stop by and say hello. Bring along a meal they love or cook for them while you're there. It's a simple act, but something they will cherish this season.
Working with a local church or charity is something that is easy to do, but changes the lives of people around you. Just a few hours a week can help these groups reach their community service mission. Whether it's a homeless shelter or a group that works with the elderly, there's something you can volunteer to do that will make a difference. If you're unsure where to start, begin contacting area groups that might appeal to you. They'll be happy to talk to you about the volunteer possibilities.
The most surprising aspect of reaching out to others is you'll find yourself enjoying the season more. You will also discover an appreciation for your own life, even with its perceived imperfections. Lessons learned through acts of kindness extend into every part of your life and will give you a better perspective on what really matters. In the end, you'll be reminded that love is a gift worth giving, but it can only be given through your direct interaction with people.
My challenge for you this week:
List names of people in need of love and support this holiday season.
Determine ways you can make each listed person feel special.
Decide what organization you will volunteer to work for. You must work prior to Christmas day.
Write down the feelings experienced during your acts of kindness.
When you extend yourself to help others, you will then gain a positive perspective of your own life.