No, I’m totally serious.  Don’t be.  Don’t be generous, don’t be altruistic.  Don’t give back.  Don’t sponsor a child, don’t volunteer at a homeless shelter, and please don’t give to a well in Africa.

Why?  Because we don’t do it any other time of the year.

There are two messages at Christmas:

1. Spend, buy, purchase, save, give, find the perfect gift etc.

2. Give to the needy.

Throughout the year we are still encouraged to spend and purchase, but the giving part gets pushed aside again.  Yes, as a culture we love to be altruistic.  You will hear the term, “giving back”, however the heightened awareness of generosity is noticeable around the holiday season.

“And that’s… bad?”

Not at all.  Of course the encouragement of generosity isn’t bad, but the “WHY” it is encouraged around this season is.  You just racked up $500 on your visa for Christmas gifts.  Appease that guilt by donating $100 to a worthy cause and volunteer at the shelter.  Ahhh… that feels better.

Can I put forth the challenge to not commit to this type of generosity this Christmas.  Instead, what about commiting to this type of generosity the whole 2013?  Christmas could be the START and not the “only”.  What would that look like for you and your family?  Not to just think about it at Christmas, but the whole year?

Ideas to help you:

1. Pack packages that include water, granola bars, Tim Hortons cards etc for the homeless and keep them in your vehicle to give out when you see one in need.

2. Volunteer as a family.  It only takes a few minutes on a google search to find out volunteer opportunities in your city.  In Calgary, we have numerous organizations that can help set you up with volunteer opportunities that fit your life.  Organizations such as: Role Mothers, Be Hip, Volunteer Calgary, Neighbourlink

3. Sponsor a child through World Vision, Compassion or Watoto.

4. Look for someone who looks alone in your community, school or church and invite them for dinner.  Invite the marginalized to your table.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the spirit of giving Christmas creates.  May it serve as a catalyst to spark a new habit of giving all year round.

For more ideas, join our conspiracy