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Dec 5

Generosity and the Holidays

Tinkle. Tinkle. Tinkle. Did you hear that? That is the sound of an angel getting his wings.

If you do not know that reference, you need to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” this holiday season! It is a classic Untitled designChristmas movie and sure to be on the television line-up once or twice in the coming weeks.

In fact, have you noticed that the number of “feel good” movies have already started to increase? We are officially in the ramp-up to the holiday season and the corny but lovely movies will be rolling and everyone will be putting in that extra effort to be a little bit kinder and gentler.

All the love and kindness makes the holidays the perfect time to remind your little angels about the importance of generosity.

What is generosity, you ask? I mean, you know what it means… being generous… but you have never really thought about it before, right? Whilst Google tells us that “Generosity is the quality of being kind and generous”, Wikipedia helpfully clarifies that it “Often means to provide help to others by giving them an (unusually precious) item without thinking twice.”

You may wonder how to help your children be generous towards others, when they are mostly being generous in texting you links to the exact gifts they will be expecting this holiday season. But it can be done!

The basics of teaching your kids are like most things you teach them—lead by example; start small and build; give them choices; and be patient!

And the good news about the holidays is that there are already things happening in your community that can provide learning opportunities such as food and gift drives. I remember the Angel Tree drives when I was a kid. You choose an entire family (with their names and ages noted on an Angel decoration on the tree) and bought presents for them. My friends and I even kept it up through our teenage years. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or behind the scenes at a toy drive sorting out gifts is also a good idea.

But don’t forget your older relatives, senior family friends and elderly neighbours. A friend always tells me the famous saying:

  • When you are young you have energy and time but no money.
  • When you are in the middle of your life, you have the energy and money but no time.
  • When you are old, you have time and money but no energy.

The way you can be most generous this holiday season is by giving your time to an older person. Some ideas to get you going:

  • Bake them a cake or other Christmas goodies (just be aware of any dietary restrictions they may have).
  • Go to their home and sing Christmas carols.
  • Take them to a concert to listen to carols.
  • Arrange to take them to church on Christmas.
  • Play cards with them or do a puzzle.
  • Take them shopping to help them buy gifts for their grandchildren.
  • Help them wrap their Christmas presents.
  • Address Christmas cards for them.

All of that sounds wonderful right!? And given the luxury of all the time and money in the world, you would be right on it. But things are busy. You are stressed. Urghh… too much to do!

If that is how you are feeling, remember that studies show that being generous can pay dividends to your physical and mental health. Connecting with people through your generosity will make you feel connected and improve your overall happiness levels.

And if you do still feel too overwhelmed, maybe it is time to be generous to yourself and get some help in your home! If you or someone you know is looking for a Nanny, check out qualified candidates in your area at www.SOSsitter.ca. SOSsitter.ca is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.

 

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