My Holiday Challenges To You   Leave a comment

The holidays are glorious times for many, many people – friends, family, good food, gifts, laughter.

But as we all know, they are also painful times for man – loneliness, hunger, poverty, tears.

So today, I challenge you to take a couple of actions – this weekend even.

The sign reads, "Cold. Hungry."

First, invite someone who is lonely to come to spend part of this weekend with you. You don’t have to give up all your family time, but for a few hours, invite someone who doesn’t have a big family to be with yours.  Have them over for a meal or to watch a movie.  Just give them something to look forward to this weekend. Invite someone.

Secondly, give something substantial to someone in need. Go to the grocery store and buy $25 dollars worth of canned goods for your local food pantry. Take a ham to that older woman who can’t afford Christmas dinner. Find your third winter coat and hand it to a person sleeping outside on a grate.  Serve Christmas dinner at a soup kitchen.  Give something.

Finally, give up something and turn that money or time into a gift.  Maybe you could cut back on your coffee shop runs or maybe you can not see a movie every weekend. Maybe you can pass on a TV show once a week or not get your haircut every month.  Then, use what you’ve saved in cash and minutes to give back. Mentor a child through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Volunteer to give make-up lessons at the local abused women’s shelter. Teach writing classes for kids at an afterschool program. Sacrifice.

It is so easy to think that the holidays are about OUR family, OUR gifts, OUR time.  And while we often spout platitudes about “giving back,” it’s easy to forget that. So let’s not forget.  Let’s invite, give, and sacrifice.

And just in case you’re wondering how I’m doing that, we had our friend Ray out for dinner last night; I am buying a bag of food for the local food pantry today, and starting in January, I will be someone’s “big sister.”  It’s not much, but it’s something.  Something important.

So who could you invite? What could you give? What could you give up?

Happiest of Holidays to you all.

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Posted December 23, 2011 by Andi Cumbo-Floyd in Life Lessons, Relationships

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