I love Christmas. Like the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I love the smells and the cold and the hustle and bustle.
And the pies food.
My only complaint is one I share with many, many people. The season tends to bring so much pressure; we must buy, buy, buy and give, give, give. We scurry this way and that, searching for the most perfect gifts that we can sometimes barely afford to buy, worrying that we will forget or offend someone along the way.
The “kick-off” weekend of Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday and Cyber Monday just piles on the guilt, pushing us to spend our time and energies not with family, but with fellow shoppers at as many stores as we can squeeze into.
Our friends over at Pure Charity have the antidote. It is a new initiative called Generous Tuesday, and it is amazing. They based Generous Tuesday on the definition of generosity that calls it “the habit of giving without expecting anything in return. It can involve offering talents, money or time to aid someone in need.”
See, despite the fact that this season claims to be about giving, if we are not careful, it turns into a stick that we use to measure ourselves against each other — “I bought the best/most thoughtful/most expensive gift.” “I gave many and only received a few; I am unloved.”
Generous Tuesday seeks to change all that. It realizes that there is more to giving than just running to the store and plunking down our money. It is a challenge to look beyond the stores and see what needs you could fulfill not just on December 25th but the entire month by using your time or your talents.
For example, you could offer to babysit for a family you know to allow the parents an opportunity to go out to dinner or a movie (I’d certainly be happy to give you my number). You’re a builder? I guarantee that there is someone in your life that has something that needs fixed. A baker? Tis the season to eat desserts (again, I would be happy to give you my number. I like apple pie. A lot). Good at math? Offer to tutor a child.
The possibilities are endless, and the best part is that conscious generosity grows. It inspires people to follow your lead, and, if left unchecked, morphs into unconscious generosity – a lifestyle of giving that is borne of the awareness of others in your life and the needs that they have, whether they mention them to you or not.
This Tuesday, join Help One Now as we reclaim this season and turn the pressure of giving into the attitude of generosity. It truly makes all the difference. Let us know on our Facebook page how you’ve been inspired to be generous with your time and talents and help Pure Charity reach their goals of One Million Lives touched by true generosity this season.
If you’re looking for a place to be generous with your money, check out our Legacy Project. You can sign up here and let your holiday giving go to something that will change the country of Haiti forever. Consider buying a brick or two in the name of your friends and relatives this year in lieu of regular gifts.