Give Well & Be Well
I remember how magical Christmas was as a kid. One of my favorite traditions was, and still is, going to my Grandma's house on Christmas Eve. My mom's side of the family is pretty large, and as a result, all the grandkids would get a ridiculous amount of presents. It was so fun opening those gifts with my cousins and immediately getting to play with all of our new toys (except for those holiday edition barbie dolls... what's even the point?!). Those Christmases are some of my very favorite memories.
For my family, this holiday is an important time in our faith. It's symbolic of a time full of grace, when we were given a gift simply because we are unconditionally loved. And while it can be easy to misdirect our focus on material aspects of this holiday, we try our best to remember the reason we give gifts at all: to show another person that we love and care for them.
I've never had to go without necessities, and I can't imagine how that would feel. I've also been very fortunate to always have family and friends who love me well, and that have been extremely supportive.
Now that all the grandkids on mom's side are older, we no longer exchange gifts with one another, but instead combine our resources to give to a family in need.
Studies show that being generous by voluntarily giving time or money can actually improve the overall quality of life. Some benefits include a decrease in blood pressure, less anxiety and depression, and overall greater levels of happiness. When people give, the pleasure centers in their brain light up. So technically, generosity can have a major positive impact on your overall wellbeing.
If you have a cause you're passionate about, or know someone who's been having a hard time, I'd like to encourage you to take some time this season to help them out. If you're uncomfortable giving money, give them your time, energy, and effort instead! Giving can be done in a multitude of ways, and serving others is one of the greatest ways to spread love and joy.
If you'd like to donate to a good cause, but aren't sure which organization to pick, I've listed a few of my personal favorites that I believe are doing wonderful and necessary good in the world!
- The Tennessee Baptist Children's Home
- Sweet Sleep
- Samaritan Purse
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- Habitat for Humanity
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- National Alliance to End Homelessness