Tis the Season for Giving and Taking. 

When December rolls around holiday shopping and the gift giving and taking season reaches a yearly all time high. Indeed a joyful time of the year where we as a community get together to celebrate wonderful holidays.  

However, is this season only about making sure gift lists for family and friends are checked off? Are our only plans office and holiday parties?  How many of us really stop to contemplate in our frenzy of giving and taking what it means to give and to take? True giving means giving with nothing expected in return. Giving comes from one’s conscience deep down inside. It stems from the sheer desire to experience fulfillment and happiness and love from giving to others. True giving is self-less and humble in every way, and it does not announce its merits for fame and appreciation. Think of anonymous donors- they are true givers because they don’t want credit from others for their benevolence. 

Who are takers? We are all takers. I love receiving gifts as much as you do. But where should we draw the line between taking and greed? Greed is a hidden monster that is unleashed during this season of consumerism. Gluttony can be a characteristic of greedy takers, and it doesn’t have to be limited to food. Our appetites for more things can be endless. The only person we can think of is ourselves. Sometimes I have to stop myself and think, how many dresses and shoes does a woman need? To the point, that buying things becomes an addiction where many cannot suppress their desire to buy and hoard. 

Ask yourself are you a true giver or taker this season? It is up to us to make this season a season of true giving. There are many simple ways to give. For instance, any clothes or shoes in your closet that haven’t been worn in a year, donate them. For every new item of clothing or shoes bought, replace it by donating something owned. Another way is to involve your children in giving- they learn from you. Perhaps, money saved by abstaining from one night of holiday entertaining can go a long way in helping people in need. Maybe your next holiday party will raise money for your charity of choice? Maybe donating money is not your way, and going to shelters and helping at soup kitchens is what you prefer? Go for it. Giving is a wonderful way of celebrating the season whether it’s with money or time. 

Be honest with yourself. Does giving come from a place where you are trying to make yourself look better for others rather than about the people you are helping? We are all human and therefore our ability to improve ourselves from the inside out continues as we grow, but it takes work. Giving will bring you more contentment than taking and receiving ever will. Let’s try our best to truly give, and why stop at the end of the season? Let’s try to make giving a part of our lives all year round.