Thursday, December 6, 2012

Giving

I don't know what it is about this year more than years past, but it seems like I have seen a ton of friends and bloggers doing acts of kindness...and I am really loving it. I think that we all tend to get a little more generous during the holiday season, but it's also easy to get busy and distracted. I love pulling up my Instagram/Facebook and seeing that someone has done something kind/giving for another person, that they may know or may not know. It makes me stop for a moment and remember what the holidays are all about...what life is all about...what Jesus is all about. 

I've seen people: leaving sweet notes/money/gift cards in random locations for a stranger to find, baking cookies for neighbors and dropping them off as a surprise, tipping waiters extra generously, donating toys/clothes to those in need, filling up shoe boxes of goodies for children, adopting a family and buying them gifts for Christmas, and so many other things. Some are big, some are little. Some are more expensive, some are pretty cheap. It doesn't really matter what is actually done, but it's just the fact that someone took time to go out of their way for someone else, especially in a society where we tend to think "me me me" all the time. 

So this is me, thanking you if you have done something like this, because you have inspired and motivated me. You have encouraged me. I want to do more, be more, give more, love more. Not just during the holidays, but all the time.

Leave a comment with something generous you've done this holiday season for someone. Don't think of it as bragging about it, because it's not. I'm asking you to tell me. Think of it as inspiration. 

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On a side note, this is the only Christmas tree that we have up so far. I'm so busy nesting for baby, that I'm totally not nesting for Christmas. At least there's something festive in the house. It's a start. 


21 comments:

Laura said...

The holiday season totally gets me to slow down, appreciate what I have and want to give! This Thanksgiving my husband and I bought meals for 2 local families in need. I wrote about it on my blog, here's the link for the full story.

http://thebfamilyblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-thanksgiving-blessing-x-2.html

P!nky said...

1} I have that tree and I adore it, great pick.

My sisters and I volunteered at our church to feed the homeless last week. From November to March, churches in my area take a week to house homeless men and women, feed them dinner, allow them to stay in the church and then feed them breakfast and pack a lunch. it's so rewarding and humbling.

My family always picks kids on the 'giving' tree at church to buy gifts for too.

Giving makes my heart happy!

xoxo

Alice' M. said...

Hey Megan :)

WHen she was alive, My MawMaw shared with me the joy and blessing of a yummy cake as a Christmas present. I used her favorite recipe,a coconut cake recipe, and baked it for people who work in our church who are under appreciated: the janitors and cafeteria workers! It's a double blessing to me because I get to follow the example of my Mawmaw, who made this cake for her mailman, etc. to show her appreciation and love of Christmas. The other part of the blessing is that I get to serve those who serve the church!!


I enjoy reading your blog, although I don't comment much. I keep up with you through Shannon! :)

Have a great Christmas, and i hope you, emory and justin are feeling well!


Alice' (Mccullin) Harper :)

Ashley Barnhill said...

This post inspired me to go buy extra Christmas cards and start planning my acts of kindness. Thank you!!

Jes Sica said...

I paid for the person behind me in the drive through the other day. I was embarrassed, sitting in front of them waiting on my coffee, but I hope it gave them a little joy for the day. I know it added some to mine.

Stormy said...

I love to give all year round but I agree that there's a lot more of it during the holidays! We adopted a family at work and we'll purchase Christmas gifts for them. :) She's one of my co-workers whose husband recently left and she has two children. Christmas is bound to be tough for them this year! I've been donating to different things as well. I'm sure you saw the posts by Erin and Katie and childhood cancer breaks my heart so of course I wanted to help them out! My husband and I also do Toys for Tots every year. Last year I think we spent around $200-$300 filling a cart with toys and donated every last one of them! It was so much fun picking out toys and imagining the children's faces when they opened them. We plan on doing that again this year. And I love spoiling my co-workers too so I'm constantly baking treats to bring in for them. Sometimes, it's just the little things :)

Emily said...

One of my favorite things to give to people during the holidays are these delicious gingersnaps: http://www.gingersnapsetc.org/index.htm

Besides them being the absolute BEST gingersnaps I've ever had and being beautifully decorated, they are the brain child of this non-profit, The Center. The Center is a private not-for- profit United Way agency in Houston
that provides opportunities which promote individual choice,
personal growth and community involvement for persons
with mental retardation. Residents at the Center make the beautiful handmade paper ornaments that decorate the cookie tins and the majority of the sales go back to the Center.

So I tend to do a two-in-one when purchasing these cookies. I give them away as gifts and help support a great non-profit. :)

sandi said...

each year our three children pick angels from the angel tree and we purchase gifts that they pick out. we have also bought items from the worldvision catalog (like soccer balls, and goats) for families overseas.

we limit our gifts to the children to three ~ a spiritual gift: bible or dvd, an emotional gift: legos or baby doll, and physical gift: coat or sweater. seriously, if it was good enough for baby jesus it's good enough for them!

this year we are going to work a soup kitchen line and help feed the homeless at a local shelter. most of these i don't blog about because they are things we do privately.

two years ago at our son's 8th birthday we did things a little differently. usually we limit parties to 5 people, but this year we invited more and had them bring toys for a toy drive. after the party we took them to the shelter which was eye opening for my kids to see. here is that post:

http://thewiedmaierfamily.blogspot.com/2010/12/sams-birthday.html

Elle said...

every year before christmas i go through my closet and get rid of everything that wasnt worn at least 3 times that year so i can donate. then i bake for my friends that live out of state and send them cookies with their christmas card. i try to also bake for my neighbors, firemen and coworkers.

Megan said...

I really like this post because I've been thinking the same thing. This year, more than ever it seems like people are really giving back & I love it! I am going to do the "leaving something for someone to find" activity here soon. I've given blood, and donated a ton of items & clothing to our recent United Way Yard Sale (all proceeds went to United Way & all the unsold items were given to a shelter!). I don't mind bragging about good things I do. I don't want credit necessarily but I think it's cool to help so I'll promote it however I need too :)

Lauren said...

We have adopted 4 children through our church & then will adopt another family with our coworkers. We love buying presents for those who are less fortunate than us!

Sara @ Our Life Blog said...

giving during christmas is one of my favorite things to do!! We tried to have Alex pick out some toys to give to children whos parents can't afford to buy presents for their kids...but we are not sure where to take them. Alex's school does this santa shoppe thing where the kids can go and buy presents for their family. So I gave a little extra money so other kiddos that don't have the money to do that, can.
It seems like the closer to christmas it gets the more i want to give. love giving!!! :D

Christa said...

We have a homeless man that sits by the red light next to my work sometimes. I've never given him money, but given him food from time to time. Last night when i was leaving, he was sitting there again, but this time he was crying and it just broke my heart. I went to the McDonald's up the street and got him a meal since i didnt have any extra food in my purse or car, but by the time i made it back, he had already moved on. I drove aroun a little bit to see if i could find him, but never did. I hope it's the thought that counts, because i really wanted to help him :(

Michaela said...

Love this. I think you saw mine on instagram :) hehe. That stirred some conflict! ha ;)

Giving back is so important and I love doing it- it fills my heart with such joy. Cute pink tree :)

Fran said...

I have not done anything out of the ordinary this season but I do have a good holiday sharing story from a few years back - I might need to share it on the blog sometime but here it goes --

It was my junior year of high school (I think) and one of my good friends was back from school on break and her family was going through some tough times, they just didn't have a lot of money. So bad that they didn't even have a Christmas tree in their home and more than anything this really bummed her out because her dad LOVED Christmas and her dad was sick. We were at this Christmas party I was having at my house and she mentioned how much she liked my tree. I got this crazy idea and individually went up to some of our friends, pulled them aside and asked them if they have like a dollar or something, I ended up getting something like $40 together and then gave it to my mom and she drove to walmart because I had seen they had a really cute one for about $20 on sale earlier that day and bought my friend a tree and ornaments (plus we gave her some of our own). We distracted her and my mom got all this stuff in my room, we wrapped it all in christmas paper and then I pulled in those friends that helped and we gave it all to her - I will never, ever forget her face.

That ended up being her dad's last Christmas and at the funeral she thanked me for giving her dad one last great christmas. Hands down, this is one of my favorite Christmas memories because it was all of our friends coming together for her.

Tiffany said...

I have loved reading all of the stories of people doing good! I do a couple of things--first I go the last day of the Angel Tree (at Wal-Mart for people in nursing homes) and if there are a bunch left, I take them all and buy the stuff. I can't stand the idea of someone not getting a gift! Second, I always find a family sometime throughout the year that is in need of a little extra money to spend and send them an anonymous gift card for Christmas. This year I met a mom who is my age and has four kiddos, including one son who is terminal and suffers from CP. I couldn't beleive what she dealt with and how much she loved her kids. I'm mailing her gift card tomorrow and just love thinking that she'll get to pull it out of her mailbox! :)

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Katie said...

It is so fun hearing how people are blessing others!! I love this post Megan. Justin and I have loved being able to financially bless others this year- buying bags of groceries, christmas gifts, clothes, etc. That last few years have be SO tight for us, that it is so great to finally be able to help others out!

Lindsay said...

I'm a Youth Director at a church and the congregation just donated tons of goodies to send to our college students during Finals Week. It took me over an hour at the post office to stuff the boxes yesterday! Candy, notes of encouragement, index cards and highlighters, hot cocoa, and hand written prayers- it was a beautiful sight!

Kay Sour said...

I gave food to shelter!
I put up our "tree" last night. It is a pitiful little 3 footer sitting on a table but this year thats as good as its going to get!

Ashley said...

We're sort of broke right now, so it's hard for us to give money to help others.... I really need to get more creative and think of things I can do for people that doesn't cost much money. It is inspiring hearing stories of people helping others. I loved that story last year of the person who went into Target (I think) and paid off a whole bunch of people's layaway accounts. That was so sweet.

I'd have to do something more crafty like bake treats and share them or make something that someone could use.

Oh... and I love your cute little tree. (:

Holly said...

You're welcome :) And I'm really glad that you're enjoying the acts of kindness, whether they be from my list or someone else's! I am having a ton of fun doing it, and I think it's so important to really get people to stop and think about what the season is really about.

My favorite thing I've done so far is buy hot cocoa for the Salvation Army worker. He was so surprised and happy and I could tell he needed it. I hope he was able to spread some more joy to others!

We're also gearing up with my youth group to do our annual Adopt-a-Family project where we shop for a family in need (toys, clothes, etc.) and wrap them up and take it to them or a middle man and they are really grateful for it. I can't wait for this year!!

I plan to keep doing something like this throughout the year, maybe once a month talk about the RAKs I do, because it's so important to keep giving and reminding ourselves that it's not always about us. We need to let the light of Jesus shine through our actions ever day!