The time between Thanksgiving and New Year is often called “the giving season.” Aside from the gifts exchanged during Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa (and perhaps even Festivus for those with grievances to air or an above-average attachment to Seinfeld reruns) many people choose to make donations to their favorite charities in December.
Of course, we love this! There is no bad time for philanthropy, and if it makes you feel even better to practice your giving along with a religious and cultural tradition, we applaud you.
But for some, this time of year quickly becomes financially overwhelming. Paychecks that are already stretched to their limits year-round are expected to cover extra groceries, decorations, and gifts. Starting the new year in the red is not as festive as it sounds.
The good news is that to be a giver during the giving season doesn’t have to cost much – or anything at all! Some folks are now counting down to December 25th (or December 31st if this aligns more closely with your beliefs and practices) with daily Random Acts of Kindness.
It can be as simple as donating used books to your local library sale or paying for a stranger to park. Or, with some planning, you can think big like one family in Grand Rapids collecting 1,000 pairs of socks for homeless community members.
There are even calendars on-line ready for you to print, like this one from the blog Coffee Cups and Crayons.