Ah, we embark upon another holiday season. Who would have thought we would be where we are now, having experienced a truly memorable 2020? This year’s holiday season brings along a new sort of stress for everyone. Will we be able to be with our loved ones, or will we continue to quarantine to protect each other from Covid? Will we be able to enjoy the season, despite so many suffering from, not only Covid, but loneliness, depression, and anxiety? People are suffering not only from the pandemic, but from oppression, racial inequality, the division of our country and the turmoil that comes with it. Frankly, 2020, you’ve been a real shitstorm, and we will be happy to say “au revoir” to you!
If you’re a follower of this blog, you know that we had our dream trip planned for spending this Christmas through the New Year holiday in Paris. The day we had to cancel those plans due to Covid, still makes me tear up, but we are making every attempt at turning un citron into limonade despite the fact that it’s not as if staying at home brings about a ton of joy, since we are still unsure if we will even be able to spend any time with our families.
We want to make sure that our family and friends, have a warm and memorable (good memories, of course) holiday season, so we have opted to consider a more compassionate holiday this year.
So, what does that mean? Well, we’ve blogged about A Simple and Stress-Free Christmas and A Minimalist Christmas, so you know how we roll when it comes to gift-giving. We really enjoy giving gifts that are not going to end up in a landfill. We relish in creating thoughtful, consumable goodies, experiences, and/or giving items that are to be used, needed, and/or bring about joy in a way that is healing to the soul.
If you’d like some ideas that are in the realm of avoiding just handing off more “stuff,” be sure to check out the list on our 2018 blog on the subject.
Want to spread more compassion into your gift giving this holiday season?
- Donate to an animal shelter in the name of a family member who is an animal lover.
- Invite your family to a Zoom call, share stories with each other, and be sure to call the elder members of your family who may not be able to figure out how to get on a Zoom call. While it may be difficult to make visits to the elderly in your family, or community, a phone call goes a long way, and will be a great way to make you, and your family feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
- Have kids in your family? Invite the kids to sift through their toys and books and compile a box of items to take to a local women’s shelter. Most women’s shelters have families (mothers and children). Ask your child to write a note or draw a picture to accompany the box of their giveaway items.
- Since it may be difficult to volunteer at a soup kitchen, or shelter, call them and ask how you can help. Maybe they need someone to help take care of their social media to spread the word about their needs, and that is right in your wheelhouse. Perhaps they need some painting or light maintenance done and you are an expert in that area and can do it while social distancing- great!
- Do you live in, or know of a community that has been harmed by a tragedy, whether it be riots that harmed local shops, or the injuring or killing of someone their community loves? Consider Doordash-ing coffee for those working there this holiday season or call the local coffee shops directly and offer to buy coffee for the next 10 people in line. Something so small as buying a stranger coffee goes a long way. Side note– in 2012, when the shootings happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, there was an influx of people calling the local restaurants, from all over the world, buying meals for the community members sitting in those restaurants, simply, because people just wanted to help in some way.
- Give the gift of lending a hand. Often, people are hurting, and they don’t want to ask for help. If you think someone may need a little bit of help, just help. If you are someone who has spent any time in grief or depression, you know that when someone says, “let me know if I can do anything,” it is often difficult to admit that it can be a challenge just putting clothes on, or to prepare a meal for yourself. Hell, making a decision is difficult when you are struggling. Don’t ask, just do something for someone you feel may needs a bit of assistance.
By considering a more compassionate holiday season, you will reduce the “stuff” that circulates from one house to another, which will in turn, whether you accept it or not, reduce what ends up in the landfill, and will also inspire others to also consider a less materialistic way of spreading joy through giving.
Remember, even the Grinch figured it out-
“What if Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” -Dr. Seuss
We hope you will join us this holiday season, by looking for the warmth of the season by giving with compassion, and less consumerism. If you’d like to also join us for our January, “30-Day Minimalism Game” and our attempt at “A Year of Buying Nothing,” be sure to come back here in the next few weeks. Make it easy on yourself and look to the right side of this website, for the black box labeled: “Follow Blog Via Email” to receive an alert as soon as a new blog is published. 😊
That is a fantastic idea! Yes! Thanks for sharing!
Another thing I think about is contacting your local counseling on aging or senior center to see if there is something you can do for a senior in need, yardwork, groceries, med run?