It goes without saying that the holidays are a magical time. And as wonderful as I find the twinkling lights and snow-dusted sidewalks, the most magical part of the season is the tradition of giving, both to those you love and to those in need. There seems to be an innate desire to do something good for others at this time of year — to open our hearts a little wider and make a difference for good in the world around us.
Of course, it’s often easier said than done. Christmas is not only the merriest time of year, it’s also the busiest. Between the stress of shopping, cooking for holiday feasts, and fitting parties into the calendar, sometimes it feels like you blink and the season has come and gone. But I wonder what would happen if each of us took time to find just one way, big or small, to make a positive difference in the community this holiday? Here are a few easy ways to make giving back a priority this season…
Find a cause that’s right for you.
The biggest struggle I face personally is the mound of philanthropic choices that inundate us every year. We’re all infected with an innate desire to do something good for others over the holidays, but how do you choose? Don’t let the options overwhelm you… (I speak from experience!) Take some time to step back and choose a project or organization you connect with personally. No matter how big or small, if you’re passionate about the cause, you’ll find it much easier to squeeze the time into your busy holiday schedule!
Invite your friends.
I may have mentioned it before, but I suffer from a severe case of FOMO. How do I survive, you ask? By turning every possible activity into a social gathering! Last month, I got a message from my dear friend Meredith asking our group of Austin gals to participate in an event called Project Thanksgiving. Everyone agreed in a heartbeat! Between nine of us, we were able to put together a Thanksgiving meal for an Austin family in need. Not only does a group of friends make finding a cause much less daunting… it makes it a lot more fun!
Make the time.
The key here is finding the right amount of time for your schedule. If you have a spare weeknight or Saturday afternoon, schedule a festive wrapping party for an adopted Christmas family or sign up for volunteer hours at a local organization in your neighborhood. But even if you only have 15 or 30 minutes, you can still find ways to give back. Maybe it’s simply mailing a monetary donation, or taking a short drive to drop off those extra coats in your closet. You’d be surprised how many local charities have gone the extra mile to make giving back as effortless as possible. But if you do have the time, put a date on the calendar and get involved in person.
Look around you!
There are so many opportunities to give back and make a difference every day, and they’re right under our noses. Maybe it’s a neighbor, maybe it’s someone you pass on the street, maybe it’s the person next to you in line for coffee. Keep your eyes open this season, and you might just find that those unexpected moments of giving are the most impactful.
Need help getting started? I’ve linked a few causes below that I personally connect to, but there are so many more! Take the time to research the opportunities in your area, and be sure to tell us how you’re getting involved!