Giving Joyfully During This Wonderful Time of Year
Children often associate the Holiday Season with getting gifts. As adults, we know this season is about much more than that – this is the season to give as well…JOYFULLY. First, I feel the need to define “joyful” and “give” and will do so with the help of Dictionary.com, which defines joyful as: full of joy, as a person or one’s heart; glad; delighted;showing or expressing joy, as looks, actions, or speech; causing or bringing joy, as an event, a sight, or news; delightful; and give as: to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation. Therefore, joyful giving would be gladly and happily presenting anything (tangible or intangible) without expecting anything in return. As you can see, anyone can give joyfully in their own way regardless of life circumstances.
I should also clarify that this post isn’t meant to make you feel guilty for not doing enough and my suggestions for joyful giving aren’t meant to make you feel like your expressions of joyful giving aren’t right or “good enough.” Hopefully, this post will be an encouragement to you if you are indeed giving joyfully and will give you fresh ideas if your giving is starting to lack the jopyful aspect.
If you prefer to serve on your own, rather than in a organized fashion, I’m sure you have neighbors who would benefit from some cleaning up this time of year. It may be more difficult for your elderly or disabled neighbors to do winter chores. You could offer to help them shovel snow or complete basic handyman projects around their house – inside and out.
If you like to bake, or are already baking for other events or parties, throw in some extra batter and bake some cookies for your neighbors, co-workers, mailman, trashmen, etc. Everyone loves a special, surprise treat!
And finally, my favorite way of all to give joyfully (teasing of course, but I do like this option and would appreciate being on the receiving end for sure!!)…..adopt your favorite gluten free friend for a meal or dessert (if you don’t bake, Udi’s gluten free Snickerdoodle Cookies are an amazing GF treat!!). After I had my daughter, it was such a blessing to have prepared meals brought to our house by friends. I know it must have been difficult for them because of my Celiac Sprue and special gluten free diet requirements, but they still did it and it meant the world to us….even more so, because they were willing to go to the extra trouble for me. I can guarantee your GF friend will especially love it this time of year. Baking and eating are large parts of this holiday season and often times, the GF eater is left sucking on a candy cane while watching their friends enjoy yummy baked goods. Your gift will definitely bring them great joy!
I know the definition of give in the beginning of this post clearly states that the act is done without expecting anything in return; however, you will be surprised by how much you actually do get in return by being a truly joyful giver!!