The festive season is coming and I don't know about you but it always leaves my bank account feeling rather bruised. Between decorations and parties and family get togethers it's definately the most wonderful (and expensive) time of year. So how can we avoid burning that plastic? I’ve come up with a few ways to give an amazing gift to those we love and the best part is - they cost zero dollars.
Give something you already have
Like your blood. That sounds a little creepy but you can save five lives. It bears repeating so SAVE FIVE LIVES!
Lots of people go hungry at this time of year so rummage through your pantry and donate tinned food or dry goods to a food bank. Ditto for your bookcases. Find some books you've already finished and share them with a charity, a school, or a friend collecting things for a fundraising garage sale. Box up some old coats, toys and clothes and take them to a homeless shelter. Bring your old blankets to an animal shelter. You may not need it but someone else probably does.
Bake some festive brownies and deliver them to your coworkers or friends. Get the kids involved and make decorations for those who can't afford them. If you have a talent for sewing use scraps to make toys or blankets or clothes. Whatever your skill find a way to use it to bring joy.
Run an errand for someone. Smile at a stranger. Give a genuine compliment. Spread good news. Volunteer at a hospital, nursing home, animal shelter, charity or anywhere you think another human being could use a smiling face.
Write a letter/make a phone call
Leave a nice note on someone’s windshield. Even if you don’t know them. Call a friend or loved one you haven’t spoken to in a long time - especially if it’s someone you’re at odds with. Send an email to someone who has greatly impacted your life (and may not know it).
If you have some extra cash to throw around...
Give a generous tip to your waitress, postal worker, garbage man. Pay for the coffee of the person behind you. Sign up for a fun run that donates to a good cause. Bring some pet food or toys to a local animal shelter.
Giving doesn’t have to be a huge, elaborate and grand event. Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest splash. As a massage therapist, I know that sometimes it’s not the hands-on work that is most helpful to a client, often it’s just being seen and heard and cared for that makes all the difference in the world.