I am really enjoying finding ways to give of my time and other resources to others during this holiday season, and sharing them with you. I think it is important, though, to address the elephant in the room—the Bible clearly tells us not to boast of our charitable deeds.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:1-4 (NIV)
All true! And why I keep my year-round giving private.
However, by sharing what I am doing this holiday season, my hope is that others will be inspired to spend more time on giving and less time on their own wants and expectations for the holidays. In fact, to date, I have had at least one friend come forward and share with me how she is going to adapt The Twelve Days of Giving for her own personal situation. If I can be an inspiration to you to “pay it forward” in a way that is meaningful and unique to you, then I am more than happy to share about what I am doing. And when the twelve days are over, I will go back to quietly going about my giving.
On the Fourth Day of Giving—The Chopped Leaf's “Fill The Chopped Car”
I saw this initiative by The Chopped Leaf on Facebook a few weeks ago and looked forward to buying groceries and other items to help “fill the Chopped car” (see photo). The goods I (and others) purchased will be distributed to organizations such as The Saskatoon Food Bank, the Crisis Nursery, The Lighthouse, The Salvation Army, and Mumford House, all worthy groups in my city.
In fact, I brought my mother along to join in! (Here’s another tip—doing something with a friend or family member means double the fun!) She is on a fixed income but still wants to give when she can. Together we brought our goodies to The Chopped Leaf’s University Heights location and helped fill the Chopped car!
I am a client of The Chopped Leaf, and enjoy in particular its gluten-free, vegan wraps. I always want to support local businesses whenever I can and was glad that I could do this in multiple ways at once!
Next time you see a local business fundraising or collecting needed items—will you consider joining in too?
At The Chopped Leaf's "Fill the Chopped Car" Initiative
ON THE FIFTH DAY OF GIVING—TREAT A FAMILY
This is the third year I have treated my friend and her kids to an evening going through The Enchanted Forest—a Christmas light show on the grounds of our local forestry farm and zoo—followed by treats, toys, and crafts at my home. It’s not much of a stretch for me to do this, because I enjoy it as much as, if not more, than the children! I hope we can continue this tradition for many years, as she and her family are special to me.
This is a gift of time as well as financial resources, but it is worth every minute and every penny.
As a bonus, funds collected for The Enchanted Forest go to two important charities: the Saskatoon Zoo Foundation and the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation. It's a win-win all around!
Something to think about—is there a whole family that you can bless somehow? Regardless of disparate love languages, giving the gift of creating memories together is somehow more special than anything else.
Treating a treasured family to The Enchanted Forest's light display
THE SIXTH DAY OF GIVING—SPEND TIME WITH A SENIOR
When I told my mother—who was visiting recently for a short time—that I was doing The Twelve Days of Giving, she was enthusiastic to share her own ideas with me! She had a list of ideas and this was the very first one on the list. As a senior and widow, she really appreciates it when others spend time with her, as it can be a lonely life.
I enjoy spending time with my mother, so this wasn’t a hard thing for me to do. I don’t see her very often as she lives far away, and I always wonder if this is going to be the last Christmas I spend with her; at least in part because we can’t always be together at this time of year. So this year I did the very best I could to make sure she had a good visit.
Here we are at Wilson’s Lifestyle Centre. My mother and I love to shop, and I took her to the newest and most interesting store—one that she has never been to before—I could think of! We had a lot of fun exploring the grounds and capped it with a giggle fest while reading silly greeting cards!
How about you—is there a senior in your life that you can bless with the gift of time, something special just for the two of you? Or perhaps you can “adopt” a lonely senior at a care home or on your street?
Spending time with a senior (my mother!) at Wilson's LIfestyle Centre
To read Part 1 of The Twelve Days of Giving, please click here.
To read Part 3 of The Twelve Days of Giving, please click here.
To read Part 4 of The Twelve Days of Giving, please click here.