My husband and I have certainly lived better than we are living right now. It helped a lot when I had a real job, and we seemed to have money to burn. I am between jobs, and things are tight, but I am still going to make a lot of donations before the end of the year. There are a bunch of great ways to make donations, and a lot of them are almost painless, even when you are pinching pennies.
One donation that I make ever year does cost a little money, but it’s well worth it to me, and so easy to do. My grocery store keeps two great big boxes by the cash registers for food donations. From Thanksgiving until the end of the year, I pick up one or two extra items every time I go shopping, and drop them in the boxes on the way out of the store. I go shopping at least twice a week, so by the end of the year I have donated a lot of food, and I hardly noticed it at the cash register.
I know that this is a busy time of year, but if you have extra time, it’s a great time to clear out some of the clutter in your house. One person’s trash is truly another person’s treasure, especially if you have clothing or houseware items that are in good condition that you no longer want. For me, it’s the sweaters that I’ll probably never need again, because it seems like I’m going to have hot flashes for the rest of my life. I have dozens, and they are taking up a lot of closet space. They will be going to the Goodwill Store, and I will get a receipt for a tax deduction in return.
I cannot imagine allowing a holiday season to go by without donating a few things to Toys For Tots. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has run this program for years, and it is very dear to my heart. It’s true that I don’t go out and spend tons of cash on the latest toy fad, but I buy a few nice toys that look like they will last a long time and be fun to play with. Retailers are knocking themselves out for your business this year like never before, and you can probably pick up some great deals on toys.
Most churches do something charitable during the holidays, and ours is no exception. Our church’s tradition is to put a Christmas tree in the narthex and decorate it with ornaments bearing the names of people less fortunate. Each ornament has a wish list for the person it represents. My husband and I take an ornament and buy some items from the wish list. We take the items back to church and volunteers deliver the gifts to the recipients.
The last donation is also the cheapest. It doesn’t cost anything to donate your time. As I stated, our church uses volunteers to distribute the donated gifts. I have taken part in that practice several times, and delivered gifts to some very wonderful people. This donation is also a gentle reminder to me of our good fortune and all of our blessings.
Like the song says, ’tis the season. Not the season of greed, or of new stuff, or of money, but the season of giving. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take some time to appreciate what you have, and share some of it with those less fortunate. Make a donation today.