It's easy to say that Christmas is a "favorite time of year" for a lot of people. You get spoiled and showered with gifts from loved ones. You get a break from the crazy "hell" called college. You get the chance to spend time with extended family to make up for lost time.
If you're like me, you quickly become joyfully full from all the love that you receive and find ways to give back to your community - big or small, but sometimes, finding ways can be difficult.
Here are five ways that I "Give Back" every year. I hope find that this is helpful for you too.
1) The "Angel Tree" Christmas Program
This program gives you the chance to "adopt" a child and buy presents from their desired "Wish List." This is so great because you get the chance to help out a family who can't give a good Christmas morning for their children or loved ones.
2) Finding time to help out at a Local Shelter or Soup Kitchen
Any form of shelter could work: animal, a woman's battered shelter, a local shelter for people to rest for the night, or soup kitchen to feed families a Holiday mean to just general meals.. Because of the volunteers these shelters receive, they are able to keep their doors open for those who find themselves in the cold at night.
If you find yourself volunteering in a shelter or soup kitchen, take the chance to get to know the people you are volunteering for. They have wild stories that are worth listening. In my experience, I met a man who was a great painter who once had a business and traveled. Another time, I met a man who chose this life style simply because he loves meeting new people and traveling.
3) Volunteering at a Local School district
Volunteer at your Local School Districts. Around this time of year, teachers and students are ready for a break. Any help that you offer to teachers with cleaning, helping with copies, helping tutor students - briefly, you are giving that teacher a chance to breathe. You are giving that teacher a moment to make sure they have everything in line before school ends for break. And for you, you are giving yourself to fall in love with many students who want to do nothing more than to show off the awesome snowman they made at art time.
4) Get rid of all your old clothes and donate them to Local Shelters/Local Thrift Stores, Salvation Armies, Goodwill
Donate. Donate. Donate. Getting rid of something that means little to you could be a life changer for someone else. "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
If you are unsure of how to donate, visit these local places, or if they have a website, browse that.
Make a difference in the world even if it's one smile at a time.