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Keep the Season of Giving Alive

It seems that the holidays can bring out the best in some people. But just because the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean our giving spirit needs to stop. There are plenty of ways that you can continue giving back to others with the remaining traces of your holiday celebrations. Use these suggestions to keep the holiday spirit that you feel in December alive into the rest of the year.

No Returns Make Great Rewards
We’ve all been there. You open up that holiday gift and slowly realize that you have no idea what the gift is or even what it’s used for. Or maybe you received that sweater you had your eye on, but there’s no way you’re fitting into this two-sizes-too-big sweater. And then, when you look up to meet the excited eyes of the gift giver, instead of crushing their holiday spirit you exclaim how much you love “it”, whatever “it” is. You could take it back later. But instead, think about how you can give back.

In this case, the saying is true. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Just because you don’t have a use for whatever gift you’ve received doesn’t mean that somebody out there isn’t in need of that gift. And since it was a gift, why not keep the chain of kindness going. Sure, you could return it to the store and get some money back. But this is a perfect time to give back, and it didn’t cost you a penny in the first place. So donate your unneeded gifts to people who need them and maybe couldn’t afford them without your help.

Pass the Plate A Little Further
Holiday parties and gatherings are a staple during this time of year. And everybody always ends up bringing way more to eat than each person should be physically capable of consuming. This year, instead of letting that leftover ham or turkey go to waste, why not give it to somebody who could really use it? Bring that leftover food to families in need.

If you don’t have leftovers, try volunteering your time at a local food bank or soup kitchen. You can serve meals, or even just donate some canned goods. Think about how good it feels after you finish your big meal, and imagine the hunger that some people have all the time. It’ll make you appreciate what you have, and hopefully make you want to help others.

Time Can Be Better Than Money
Above all else, spending your time can be the most precious gift to give. Although material needs are always there, sometimes it is the gift of a real person and their time that can make the most difference. With your kids taking a break from school or your family visiting in town, this is a perfect time to get them involved and have them experience the power of giving back to a community. You’ll feel great about your deeds and will appreciate the things in your life that you might not have noticed before.

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