...Sunshine is hosting yet another contest! And everyone's a winner, because this isn't really a contest - more like a party, and everyone's invited. The prize is the joy of giving - and, if you e-mail her about what you're doing this holiday season to make your world a little bit nicer, a cool holiday button for your blog. (If you're reading this post in a feed reader, click through to the blog to see the one I got! I promise it won't shoot your eye out...)
The details are here and here, but essentially it comes down to this - what do you already do, or plan to do this Christmas/Chanukah/solstice, just to be nice to other people? It doesn't have to be big, it doesn't have to save the world, it might be something you do every day or just once a year - the point is that it's giving of yourself, just because.
Sunshine will be keeping up a running post all month recognizing people's "niceness" at this time of year when a lot of people really do seem to be a little nicer. (That's one good reason to wish it was Christmas every day.) I love the idea.
One thing about not being a regular churchgoer is that you don't have one of the most obvious outlets for participating in helping your community, and I have to admit I'm not much for volunteering, so most of the little things I do stay within my own daily circle. Then again, if charity really does begin at home, I guess I'm doing OK - but maybe I need to move to a bigger neighborhood?
In any case, my "neighborhood" includes my office. I not only make the coffee there every morning, but I buy the coffee, as well as the supplies for the office candy jar (good candy, may I add) - out of my own pocket, except when my boss gives me hard time about it and makes me get reimbursed (and I ignore him most of the time - I work in accounting for a nonprofit, so I know we have to watch expenses).
Some time in mid-December, I'll host a holiday breakfast for my office, and I'll bake most of the offerings myself (muffins, coffee cake, sweet rolls). At least half of the treats, and maybe more, will be made from Weight Watchers-friendly recipes.
Then there are the really little things I like to do often, like make sure my husband's water bottles are filled and chilled, pick up a coffee for my sister, and give away books to anyone.
This is the season of giving, but there doesn't have to be a season for giving - so what do you give to make someone else's day a little better?
(I'm not sure this is quite the kind of giving we were thinking of...)